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Thousands fleeing Somalia capital

Almost 90,000 people have fled Somalia’s capital in recent days after the onset of the heaviest fighting to hit the war-torn city in months, the U.N. said Thursday.
The organization said in a statement that the clashes are the worst between Islamic insurgents and Somali and allied Ethiopian troops since April, causing 88,000 people to flee Mogadishu over a three-day period starting Oct. 27.
That number contrasts with a previous rate of 20,000 to 25,000 people leaving each month, it said.
Nairobi-based World Vision Somalia’s operation director Graham Davison told the BBC that the situation in Mogadishu “has intensified? and has “increased to a height that we haven’t seen in previous occasions.?
While more than 3,400 civilians have been wounded since January, more than 100 people injured in the fighting have been admitted to hospitals in just two days, according to Christian Balslev-Olesen, a top humanitarian coordinator for Somalia said in a statement.
The United Nations said about 1.5 million Somalis are in need of food aid and protection because of inadequate rains, continuing internal displacement and a potential cholera epidemic.
BBC News said that even more violence may result after Somalia’s prime minister, Ali Mohammed Ghedi, resigned on Monday
The total number of displaced Somalis is at 800,000, the U.N. said Thursday.
Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991.

BBC:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7070750.stm

Washington Post:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/01/AR2007110101091.html?hpid=artslot