Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Clashes Kill 15 People in Mogadishu

Clashes kill 15 people in Mogadishu

Wed Apr 13, 2011 6:34AM

Heavy clashes between Somali government troops backed by African Union forces and al-Shabab fighters have resulted in the deaths of 15 people in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

Thirteen civilians were killed Tuesday after fierce clashes broke out between al-Shabab fighters and the transitional government troops in Mogadishu's northern districts of Bondhere and Karan, a Press TV correspondent in Mogadishu reported.

More than 21 people were also wounded when Somali soldiers and al-Shabab fighters exchanged heavy gunfire, and when barrages of mortar shells were fired.

Separately, five people lost their lives and 54 others were left wounded after al-Shabab fighters launched an attack against Villa Somalia, the presidential palace in capital Mogadishu, firing several mortar shells that landed in and around the compound.

Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991, when warlords overthrew former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

The Somali government has struggled for years to restore security but efforts have not yet yielded results in the nation.

Nearly a million people have died following years of fighting between rival warlords and also due to the country's inability to deal with famine and disease.

There are more than 1.4 million internally displaced people (IDP) in Somalia. More than 300,000 IDP have been sheltered in Mogadishu alone.

Most of the displaced live in squalid conditions at makeshift sites in southern and central Somalia, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

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