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UN Humanitarian Chief Arrives in Somalia


The United Nations' top humanitarian official is in Somalia to urge the interim government to allow humanitarian aid to reach the country's people.

John Holmes, who arrived in the Somali capital of Mogadishu Saturday, is the highest-ranking U.N. official to visit the Horn of Africa nation in more than a decade.

Earlier Saturday, four people were killed when a bomb exploded nearly 400 meters from the U.N. compound in southern Mogadishu.

The trip by Holmes is taking place in the aftermath of heavy fighting between allied Somali-Ethiopian forces and Islamists in Mogadishu that killed hundreds of Somalis and forced up to 400,000 others to escape to makeshift camps on the city's outskirts. Many of them are living in squalid conditions, with little food, water or shelter.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.