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Mine blast kills 5 soldiers in Mogadishu
Wed, 09 Mar 2011 10:59:04 GMT
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Somali government troops clash with al-Shabab fighters in Mogadishu. (file photo)
At least five Somali government soldiers have been killed and four others gravely injured by a land mine explosion targeting a military base in Mogadishu.

Al-Shabab fighters attacked Kuliyada military base of the transitional government troops in Mogadishu's southern district of Industrial Road on Wednesday and detonated a bomb in close proximity to it. The blast inflicted serious damage on the structure and a number of surrounding buildings, the Press TV correspondent in Mogadishu reported.

Bitter clashes broke out in the aftermath and the two sides exchanged heavy gunfire and barrages of mortar shells were fired.

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/TG/HRF
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