Somalis flee Mogadishu fighting

Somalis flee Mogadishu fighting

Mogadishu residents leave the city with their possessions - 9/11/2007

The UN is warning of a humanitarian crisis for Somalia’s refugees

Residents of Somalia’s capital Mogadishu are continuing to flee the city after the latest heavy fighting.

The UN says 100,000 people have left in the last two weeks to escape clashes between Ethiopian soldiers and Islamist militants.

An outburst of fighting this week has killed at least 80 people, many of them civilians, say Mogadishu residents.

Ethiopian troops are in Somalia supporting Somalia’s weak, interim government against the insurgents.

Mogadishu’s hospitals are packed with wounded and refugees from the fighting, and are reported to be running low on supplies of food and water.

Humanitarian crisis

The city was reported to be relatively quiet on Saturday morning but more bodies were found, bringing the total killed in the last few days to at least 80.

Ethiopian troops carried out reprisal attacks after the body of an Ethiopian soldier was dragged through Mogadishu’s streets on Thursday.

Tanks and artillery battered insurgent strongholds in the city, but residents reported that many civilians were killed and injured in the fighting.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has warned of a growing humanitarian crisis in Somalia.

"Overall, 1.5m people are in need of humanitarian assistance, a 50% increase since the beginning of the year," he said on Friday.

Earlier he said a UN force would not be viable and that other options should be considered, including a multi-national force or what he calls a "coalition of the willing".

The African Union did agree to send 8,000 peacekeepers to Somalia this year but only 1,600 Ugandan troops have actually made it.



Fierce clashes on the streets of Mogadishu


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