SOMALIA: Without food and unable to bury the dead in Mogadishu
Photo: Hassan Mahamud Ahmed/IRIN
|A family fleeing the fighting in Mogadishu (file photo)|
Some residents, he added, had ventured out of their homes on 15 March to assess the damage and bury their dead. "There is a feeling among the population that this is not the end and worse is yet to come," he said. Both sides, he explained, were mobilizing, with tanks belonging to the African Union (AU) peacekeeping mission (AMISOM) dotting the city. A medical source said the hospitals had been inundated. "We are barely coping," she told IRIN. "When you think there are no more, more are brought in."
On the move
The fighting, between AMISOM-backed government forces and the Islamist group Al-Shabab, broke out when Al-Shabab fighters attacked government positions in north Mogadishu, a local journalist told IRIN.
“By Friday [12 March], the fighting had spread to most parts of north Mogadishu. The Yaqshid, Karan, Abdiasis and Wardhigley districts were the hardest hit,” he added. By 15 March, hundreds of families were on the move, "taking advantage of the break in the shelling”. According to the journalist, many were joining those in the Afgoye corridor - already home to hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people - while others were heading to Balad, 30km north of Mogadishu. While the death toll was more than 100, another 245 people were injured, the medical source said.“These are the ones we can account for; there may be many more who are unaccounted for,” she said. “I am sure that once we have access to the epicentre of the fighting the death toll will be much higher.” Most of the injured, she said, were children, citing the case of Salado Ali in Medina, Mogadishu's main hospital. Her six-year-old son and husband were injured when their home in the northern Karan district was hit by a shell. "The doctors have removed the pieces from the boy's stomach," she told IRIN by telephone. "They tell me he is stable." Salado, whose husband was in another wing of the hospital with a less serious injury, said: "I don't think there is anyone left in our neighbourhood."