Thursday, June 05, 2003

SOMALIA: Families flee fighting in Middle Shabelle
NAIROBI, 4 JUNE 2003 (IRIN) - Hundreds of families are fleeing their homes in the Middle Shabelle Region, south-central Somalia, local sources told IRIN on Wednesday. The exodus follows an outbreak of heavy fighting in the village of Raghe-Eil between opposing militias, the second incident of its kind since March.

"Many families have been fleeing their homes in the village [Raghe-Eil] and the surrounding areas since Thursday [29 May]," said a local journalist in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

The fighting, concentrated within a 20 km radius around the village of Raghe-Eil, 95 km northeast of Mogadishu, was between the two Abgal sub-clans of Muhammad Muse and Warsangeli, the source said. It reportedly started after forces loyal to the self-styled "governor" of Middle Shabelle, Muhammad Umar Habib a.k.a. Muhammad Dhere, a Warsangeli, captured the village, said the journalist. MORE

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