Mon Jul 24, 2017 | 00:46
Clashes kill 20 in southern Somalia
Thu, 03 Mar 2011 20:36:33 GMT
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Al-Shabab fighters in Somalia, file photo
Clashes between government soldiers backed by African Union forces and al-Shabab fighters have left at least 20 people dead in southern part of Somalia.

20 people died on Thursday after bitter skirmishes broke out between al-Shabab fighters and the transitional government troops in Belet-hawo town in Gedo region. 40 others were also injuried during the fighting, a Press TV correspondent reported.

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

The Somali government has struggled for years to restore security but efforts have not yet yielded results in the nation.

Nearly a million people have died following years of fighting between rival warlords and also due to the country's inability to deal with famine and disease.

There are more than 1.4 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Somalia. More than 300,000 IDPs have been sheltered in Mogadishu alone.

Most of the displaced live in squalid conditions at makeshift sites in southern and central Somalia, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

MP/MGH
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