23 May 2009

Heavy fighting in Mogadishu

12:05 pm on 23 May 2009

There has been heavy fighting in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.

At least 45 people were killed and 200 wounded on Friday in clashes between Islamist fighters and pro-government forces who are attempting to recapture areas seized by the rebels.

Supporters of the government lost control of about a third of the city last week.

There has been civil war in Somalia for 18 years.

At least 17,700 civilians have been killed and more than 1 million driven from their homes since 2007. About 3 million Somalis survive on emergency food aid.

The United Nations refugee agency UNHCR says 49,000 people have fled fighting in Mogadishu in the past two weeks.