Al-Shabab seizes town in south Somalia.

Halkaan ka akhri

Members of al-Shabab group have gained control of a town in southern Somalia after fierce clashes with rival Hizbul Islam forces.

Al-Shabab fighters had previously called on Hizbul Islam administration not to set up more checkpoints in and around Burhakaba town of Bay region in southern Somalia.

Hizbul Islam forces however paid no heed and went on with their plans, local residents told Mareeg Online on Wednesday.

Fighting broke out consequently and al-Shabab forces took over the control of the town.

At least three people were killed and five others injured as both sides exchanged heavy gunfire.Most of the displaced live in poor and degrading conditions on makeshift sites in southern and central Somalia, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

The anti-government al-Shabab group controls several towns in southern Somalia following weeks of bloody clashes with Ahlu Sunna Waljama’a fighters and Somali government forces.

In a recent report, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) stated that hundreds of civilians have been injured in fighting in Somalia in recent months.

The Geneva-based humanitarian institution said that a total of 5,000 patients with war injuries, including 1,900 women and children, were admitted to Mogadishu’s Keysaney and Medina hospitals from January through September.

Compared to last year, it is an increase of 25 percent in the total number of war casualties and 72 percent in the number of war-wounded women and children admitted to the hospitals.

Some 4,000 patients with war injuries, among them 1,100 women and children, were taken to Mogadishu’s two referral hospitals in 2009.

Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991, when warlords overthrew former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

Over the past two decades, up to one million people have lost their lives in fighting between rival factions and due to famine and disease.

There are more than 1.4 million internally displaced people (IDPs) in Somalia. Over 300,000 of the IDPs are sheltered in Mogadishu.

Source: Wired

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