Thu May 25, 2017 | 01:16
Clashes leave over 30 dead in Mogadishu
Wed, 23 Mar 2011 05:06:20 GMT
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Somali government soldiers take up position as they battle against al-Shabab fighters in Mogadishu's southern district of Hodan on March 21, 2011.
Heavy clashes between Somali government troops backed by African Union forces and al-Shabab fighters have resulted in the deaths of at least 39 people in Mogadishu.

Ten civilians, including three women and six children, died on Tuesday after bitter clashes broke out between al-Shabab fighters and the transitional government troops in Mogadishu's northern district of Bondhere. Eight people were also wounded during the fighting, a Press TV correspondent in Mogadishu reported.

Separately, more than 29 civilians were killed and 32 others left injured when Somali soldiers and al-Shabab fighters exchanged heavy gunfire, and barrages of mortar shells were fired in the southern districts of Hawlwadig and Hodan.

Somali military commander General Abdikarim Farah said government forces could capture five al-Shabab bases in Mogadishu on Tuesday and killed over 48 members of the anti-government group.

However, al-Shabab spokesman Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rageh rejected the claim. He said at least 20 government troops lost their lives after both sides engaged in bloody skirmishes.

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.

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