Fighting Breaks Out In Somali Capital

July 28, 2011
Reports say heavy fighting has broken out between government forces backed by African Union (AU) troops and Islamist rebels in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.
The clashes come just a day after the UN World Food Program began an airlift of emergency relief into Mogadishu, where huge numbers of people are at risk of starvation from a prolonged drought.
Hospital officials said AU troops killed at least six rebels during the July 28 operation. At least 20 people were injured.
Somalia is the country worst-hit by the most severe drought in 60 years in the Horn of Africa, with an estimated 10 million people -- or half of the population -- in need of assistance.
However, rebels from the radical Islamist Al-Shabab group have banned most international aid groups from areas in the south of the country under their control, including areas where the United Nations earlier this month declared a famine.
compiled from agency reports