MOGADISHU: FIGHTING CONTINUES AT LOWER INTENSITY

Tuesday
19:40:05
April
24 2007

MOGADISHU: FIGHTING CONTINUES AT LOWER INTENSITY

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SOMALIE Misna on Ladysilvia; Sporadic fighting is still underway today in the northern sector of Mogadishu, though as referred by local sources to MISNA, the skirmishes between local militias and Ethiopian soldiers never really interrupted. “After three days of intensive fighting, the sides had appeared to have taken a break”, said a local source contacted in the Jamhuriah neighbourhood, probably the worst hit by the clashes of the past days, specifying that the sides suspended the fiercer fighting last night at around 7:00p.m local time. Mortar, artillery fire and bombings by Ethiopian armoured vehicles continued, though at a lower intensity, throughout the night.

“At this point we are shocked at the contrary”, added the same source, explaining that hundreds of families took advantage of the relative calm of the past hours to continue abandoning Mogadishu. “The people know that the sides are preparing for new flare-ups and are terrified that sooner or later the roads that take out of the city will be shut, blocking them in the city. For this reason, since the first hours of the morning a long column of cars is filing out of the northern area of the city in direction of Balad and Jowhar (90km from Mogadishu), following the main road that takes north”, added the resident of Jamuriah, who remained alone to “guard” his family home from looting. Based on the latest estimates of the United Nations, more than 32,000 civilians have left the Somali capital since February.

There are no confirmations on the death toll, though estimates in circulation range from around a hundred to nearly 300 dead. MISNA sources confirm that numerous bodies are still abandoned along the roadsides of neighbourhoods in north Mogadishu, which is the ’front line’ of the fighting between the pro-government forces and militia of the Hawiye clan. However, just in yesterday’s fighting over 30 people were killed and more than 150 wounded. “Yesterday we received some 70 wounded. We released around fifty and hospitalised the rest. With over 200 wounded, almost all in critical condition, the hospital is completely full”, said to MISNA Ali Mohalim Mohamed, vice-director of the Medina Hospital, among the main medical facilities of Mogadishu, where a dozen of tents were set up in the garden to treat the constant flow of injured. [BO]

Source by MISNA


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