Thousands flee Mogadishu fighting

Thousands of civilians have fled the Somali capital, Mogadishu, after heavy fighting between Ethiopian troops and armed groups overnight on Friday and Saturday left at least 10 people dead.

Thousands flee Mogadishu fighting

The exodus came as the International Committee for the Red Cross on Saturday asked the warring parties to protect civilians caught up in the conflict there.

The ICRC said that since the beginning of the year, more than 430 civilians had been admitted to two of the city's three hospitals suffering from conflict related injuries.
The precise death toll, which is estimated at several dozens, cannot be confirmed, the ICRC said.

Witnesses said that five children were among those killed in last night's clashes.
They were apparently killed in crossfire as the Somali government battled fighters in the city centre. 
Fleeing in panic
Adan Dirir Bare, a resident of southern Mogadishu, said: "I was very scared yesterday after I heard the heaviest explosion ever in the capital."
In an atmosphere of panic, some residents scrambled into passenger vans while others just grabbed household items and left on foot for the relative calm of the surrounding countryside.
A mother of five, Sahro Ali Mohamed, said houses in her Mogadishu district were deserted.
"People cannot endure the heavy artillery and mortar exchange that kills people every time," she said as she left with her family.
Ugandan deployment

This week has seen some of the heaviest fighting in the capital since late December when the Union of Islamic Courts movement was driven out by the interim Somali government and its Ethiopian allies.


Somlia is anxiously awaiting the deployment of an 8,000-strong African Union force to try to help the transitional government restore order in Mogadishu.


The deployment was approved last Tuesday by the UN Security Council.


But the AU has so far managed to raise only half of the required peacekeepers, with possible troop pledges from Nigeria, Burundi, Malawi and Ghana as well as Uganda, which has offered 1,500 troops.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16