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54 die in battle for Mogadishu
Sat, 23 Apr 2011 23:05:32 GMT
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Al-Shabab fighters conduct a military exercise in Mogadishu's northern district of Suqaholaha on January 1, 2010.
At least 54 people have been killed in heavy clashes between Somali government troops backed by African Union forces and al-Shabab fighters in Mogadishu.

The fighting occurred in northern and southern districts of Mogadishu on Saturday, the Press TV correspondent in Mogadishu reported.

About 130 people were also injured after the two sides exchanged heavy gunfire and barrages of mortar shells.

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

Over the past two decades, up to one million people have lost their lives in the fighting between rival factions and due to famine and disease.

There are more than 1.4 million internally displaced people (IDPs) in Somalia. Over 300,000 IDPs are sheltering in Mogadishu alone.

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

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