An unidentified man lays dead in the Huriwaa district in the south of Mogadishu, At least 10 people were killed on Thursday in fighting between…

Dil Huruwaay nin shacab ah

Mogadishu Somalia

 Halkaan ka akhri

An unidentified man lays dead in the Huriwaa district in the south of Mogadishu, At least 10 people were killed on Thursday in fighting between pro-government troops and suspected rebels near insurgent strongholds in north Mogadishu., witnesses said on Friday.

In the worst clashes for more than a week, Ethiopian troops backing Somalia’s interim government fought insurgents in the Suqa Holaha vicinity.

“Five people were killed during the fighting, which stopped after midday, and then in the afternoon residents began burying the dead,” Fartun Osman, a witness, told Reuters by phone.

Then five more died in clashes in Yaqshid district, where government troops were searching for weapons and rebels, locals said.

All the casualties were thought to be civilians, although the army says witnesses mistake insurgents for residents.

Somalia’s military, which has been fighting Islamist-led insurgents all year, said operations were still under way on Friday in northern areas of Mogadishu.

President Abdullahi Yusuf’s fragile administration has faced Iraq-style attacks since its Ethiopian military allies helped it rout the Islamist Courts movement from Mogadishu at the end of 2006. The pro-sharia group had ruled the city for six months.

The fighting has displaced some 600,000 Mogadishu residents from their homes, 215,000 of them just in the last month, according to United Nations figures.

“The humanitarian response is not yet commensurate with the enormous needs of the vulnerable people,” said the Somalia branch of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (U.N. OCHA) in a report on the latest refugee movements.

U.N. OCHA said eight kitchen sites had been set up in Mogadishu to feed the urban poor, while food aid distributions had begun on the road between Mogadishu and Afgoye, where many refugees are travelling or have set up shelters.

A Somali general, Yusuf Hussein Dhumaal, complained that media were giving an incorrect picture of the conflict by reporting civilian deaths that were actually insurgent casualties.

“The radios always say civilians were killed when insurgents in plainclothes are killed in the government’s operations,” he said. “The areas where the searches are taking place are not residential areas now.”

Somali journalists are reeling from a series of restrictions put on them by Mogadishu’s mayor, including a ban on reporting government military operations or interviewing rebels.

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