Bloody clashes kill over 150 in Somalia
African Union peacekeepers patrol on foot as they assist Somalia government forces during clashes with al-Shabab fighters in southern Mogadishu, Somalia, Wednesday, March 9, 2011.
At least 152 people have been killed during heavy clashes between Somali government troops backed by African Union forces and al-Shabab fighters in Mogadishu.
Over 58 Somali soldiers died on Monday after bitter clashes broke out between al-Shabab fighters and the transitional government troops in southern Mogadishu's northern districts of Bondhere and Juba. Twenty African Union peacekeepers also died in the skirmishes, a Press TV correspondent in Mogadishu reported.
Moreover, al-Shabab fighters were also killed and many more were wounded during the bloody fighting.
More than 43 civilians were also killed when Somali soldiers and al-Shabab fighters exchanged heavy gunfire, and barrages of mortar shells were fired.
Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991, when warlords overthrew former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.
The Somali government has struggled for years to restore security but efforts have not yet yielded results in the nation.
Nearly a million people have died following years of fighting between rival warlords and also due to the country's inability to deal with famine and disease.
There are more than 1.4 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Somalia. More than 300,000 IDPs have been sheltered in Mogadishu alone.
Most of the displaced live in squalid conditions at makeshift sites in southern and central Somalia, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.