31 August 2011

Somalia: Food Aid Looting Kills 15

At least fifteen people have been killed and several others wounded after a gunfight broke out between Somali government forces in southern Mogadishu, Press TV reports.

Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) troops turned on each other in Maka al- Mukarama Road of Mogadishu's Kilometer 4 district on Tuesday evening as some TFG soldiers tried to steal aid portions for famine-hit Somali families, a Press TV correspondent reported on Wednesday.

The two sides exchanged heavy gunfire during the fighting. Nine government soldiers and six civilians were killed as a result.

Nineteen people were also injured in the skirmishes. Somali ambulance workers transported the injured to Medina and other hospitals in Mogadishu.

According to the World Food Program, drought and the famine have affected more than 11.8 million people in the Horn of Africa and created a triangle of hunger where the borders of Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia meet.

Somalia has been the hardest-hit country by what is being described as the worst drought in the Horn of Africa in 60 years.

The United Nations has warned that more than thirteen children out of every 10,000 aged less than five die in the Somalia famine zone every day.

"This means that 10 per cent of children under five are dying every 11 weeks. These figures are truly heart-wrenching," UN representative to Somalia Augustine Mahiga told the UN Security Council on August 10.

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

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