13 die in battle for Mogadishu
Somali government soldiers on patrol in Mogadishu (file photo)
At least 13 people, including government forces, have been killed and many others injured in clashes in the Somali capital Mogadishu, Press TV reports.
On Saturday, Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) troops and al-Shabab fighters fought a battle in the Wadajir district of Mogadishu, which is controlled by government forces, a Press TV correspondent reported.
According to witnesses, gunmen attacked Somali troops patrolling the area and the ensuing exchange of gunfire lasted about two hours.
Witnesses say they saw 13 bodies in the streets, and the death toll is expected to rise.
Local residents also said that the government forces prevented efforts to gather the dead bodies and to bring the injured people to a hospital.
Government troops say al-Shabab fighters have been chased out of southern Mogadishu, which is reportedly now under government control.
However, locals told Press TV that al-Shabab fighters are still in the area and are staging hit-and-run attacks against government troops.
Drought and famine have affected more than 11.8 million people across Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia.
Somalia has been the hardest-hit country in what is being described as the worst drought in the Horn of Africa in 60 years.
According to the United Nations, a quarter of Somalia's 9.9 million people are now either internally displaced or living outside the country as refugees.