Clashes in central Somalia leave 10 dead, dozens injured

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Monday, December 14, 2015

Security officers investigate the scene of a car bomb, which killed a journalist in the Hodan neighborhood of the Somali capital, Mogadishu, December 3, 2015. (Photo by AFP)

 

At least 10 people have lost their lives and more than two others, mostly civilians, sustained injuries in an exchange of gunfire between militiamen in Somalia’s south-central region of Hiran.

Local residents said the violence broke out when members of two rival clans, armed with heavy machine guns, turned on each other and clashed in the city of Beledweyne, some 206 miles (332 kilometers) north of the capital, Mogadishu, on Sunday.

“I can say that the death toll might increase further because some of those wounded are in critical condition,” an eyewitness, speaking anonymously, said.

Director of the Beledweyne general hospital, Ahmed Mohamud Khalif, said the facility has received 29 injured people.

“We are extending emergency health care to wounded people, who have been hospitalized here. We have received 29 victims of the attacks with five suffering from grave gunshot wounds,” Khalif said.

Tribal chief Ugas Adirahman Ugas Khalif condemned the fighting, calling upon elders of the two warring sides to resolve their differences through peaceful means.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement on December 8 that clashes between rival militiamen in central Somalia have forced some 90,000 people from their homes. The statement warned that the clashes had affected many people already struggling and in need of aid.

Somalia has also been the scene of deadly clashes between government forces and al-Shabab militants since 2006.