A Yemen-born foreign fighter has been killed in the latest heavy clashes between al-Shabab fighters and Somali government troops backed by African Union forces in war-weary Mogadishu.
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
The militant, identified as Rabah Abu-Qalid, lost his life when al-Shabab fighters launched attacks against Somali soldiers in Mogadishu's northern districts of Shibis and Bondhere on Sunday, a Somali official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Radio Garowe on Monday.
He added that 22 other people, mostly fighters, were killed in clashes between al-Shabab militants and government-backed troops in the central Somali region of Hiran.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has reported that hundreds of civilians were injured in fighting in Somalia in recent months.
The Geneva-based humanitarian institution said that a total of 5,000 patients with war injuries, including 1,900 women and children, were admitted to Mogadishu's Keysaney and Medina hospitals from January through September.
Compared to last year, it is an increase of 25 percent in the total number of war casualties and 72 percent in the number of war-wounded women and children admitted to the hospitals.
Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991, when warlords overthrew former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.
Over the past two decades, up to one million people have lost their lives in fighting between rival factions and due to famine and disease.
There are more than 1.4 million internally displaced people (IDPs) in Somalia. Over 300,000 of the IDPs are sheltered in Mogadishu.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reported that most of the displaced live in poor and degrading conditions on makeshift sites in southern and central Somalia.