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Armed Militias Continue To Fight In Somalia's capital

The casualty rate continues to rise in the Somali capital, Mogadishu -- where militia groups continue to battle for control of the city. Heavily armed reinforcements arrived yesterday in pickup trucks mounted with heavy machine guns. Thousands are fleeing their homes and the city. The clashes pit gunmen belonging to two rival militias -- the Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counterterrorism, and the Islamic Court Union.

Mohammed Dare is the general editor of VOA affiliate Hornafrik Radio In Mogadishu. He described the stuation in the Somali capital to English to Africa reporter Ashenafi Abedje. “The latest in casualty we have is one hundred and fifty people killed as hospital officials have confirmed to us. Three hindred people have been injured, most of them civilians particularly children and women.”

Dore says taking care of the injured is an extremely difficult task. “There are no government hospitals and there are only two main hospitals run by the ICRC. But the hospitals have become overloaded. People can’t go to other hospitals such as Hayad, Arafat and others because they have to pay fees to get treated.”

The two combatant militia groups have brought in troop reinforcements over the last 48 hours. Dore says many Mogadishu residents fear the troop build up may signal more intensified fighting in the days to come.