Sat Nov 18, 2017 | 01:07
Clashes kill over 60 in southern Somalia
Tue, 15 Mar 2011 07:20:08 GMT
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Al-Shabab new recruits march during a parade at a military training base in Afgoye, west of the capital Mogadishu, on February 17, 2011.
Clashes between government soldiers backed by African Union forces and al-Shabab fighters have left over 60 people dead in southern Somalia.

At least 62 Somali soldiers died on Monday evening after bitter skirmishes broke out between al-Shabab fighters and the transitional government troops in the town of Belet-hawo in the Gedo region. Some 33 others were also injured during the fighting, a Press TV correspondent in Mogadishu reported on Tuesday.

In addition, scores of al-Shabab fighters were killed and injured during the bloody fighting, the report added.

Al-Shabab fighters now control the border town in southern Somalia. Their recapture of Belet-hawo came days after Somali government forces had taken control of the town.

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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