12 May 2009

Somalia: 113 Killed in 5-Day Mogadishu Battles - Human Rights Group

At least 113 people have been killed since Thursday in the Somali capital Mogadishu where heavy battles raged among pro-government and anti-government Islamists, Radio Garowe reports.

Mogadishu-based Elman human rights group issued a report Tuesday, calling on the warring sides to immediately stop the fighting in order to save civilian lives.

"The dead include people whose homes were hit by shells, people who were shot indiscriminately and those killed by stray bullets," said Mr. Ali "Fadhaa" Sheikh Yasin, the acting chairman of Elman.

He noted that 345 people have been wounded and that upwards of 27,000 people have been displaced the recent eruption of warfare in Mogadishu unseen since the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops in January.

The Elman human rights group collects facts and figures from staff members across Mogadishu, eyewitnesses and the families of the victims, Mr. Fadhaa added.

Mogadishu was calm on Tuesday, but anxious residents feared the eruption of renewed fighting that has already destroyed much of the war-battered seaside capital.

Islamist rebel groups, Al Shabaab and Hizbul Islam, are in control of key areas and roads in southern Mogadishu and some areas in the capital's northern districts.

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