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UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Wednesday 13 April 2005

SOMALIA: 13 reported killed in inter-clan fighting in Mudug

HARGEYSA, 13 Apr 2005 (IRIN) - At least 13 people were reported killed in renewed inter-clan fighting in Hobyo district, Mudug region of central Somalia, sources told IRIN. At least 30 others were reported wounded, the sources added.

The latest fighting pitted militiamen from two sub-clans, the Saad and Seleeban of the main Hawiye clan and was reportedly sparked by misunderstanding over the right to use grasing lands and water points in Hobyo area.

A local journalist in Galkayo, the capital of Mudug told IRIN that the latest fighting broke out on Monday afternoon. It escalated in the evening, leading to the destruction of property and torching of houses in south Galkayo.

Khadija Aden, a businessperson in the town, told IRIN on phone on Monday: "I can still hear the sound of guns and mortars from my home. At the moment panic stricken residents are indoors fearing for their lives."

Medical sources in Galkayo said the wounded, most of whom were women and children, had been admitted at two hospitals in the town run by the medical charity MSF-Holland. Hassan Ahmed, a medical doctor in one of the hospitals told IRIN that some of those admitted had "serious gunshot wounds".

By Tuesday, the number of internally displaced persons in the town had risen amid fears that the militiamen were regrouping to launch fresh hostilities.

During his visit to Galkayo in February, the Somali transitional president, Abdulahi Yussuf Ahmed, urged clans there to halt the hostilities and instead promote efforts to build peace and disarm armed militias. He warned that continued fighting would endanger the fragile peace process that his government was trying to spearhead.

Somalia has been without a functional central government since 1991 when former president Mohamed Siyad Barre was toppled. Several faction leaders emerged thereafter and carved the Horn of Africa country into patchwork of fiefdoms.

A transitional government formed early this year is still based in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, due to widespread insecurity in the country.

[ENDS]



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