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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Somali violence taking toll on children

Sun, 05 Apr 2009 15:04:38 GMT | PressTV

Heavy mortar fire has claimed the life of a child and left six other siblings seriously injured in the South Mogadishu district of Taleh.

The father of the family Salad Mohammad Hassan Farrah called ambulances which rushed the children to Daynille Hospital, a Press TV correspondent reported on Sunday.

According to the correspondent, two girls are among the six wounded children.

The mother of the family is in a state of shock after she saw her children's conditions and the dead child.

The incident occurred late Saturday when unknown armed groups exchanged heavy fire in the South Mogadishu district of Taleh. A mortar struck the house of the family during the fighting.

"I didn't know that merciless armed groups were in my district. They killed my oldest son and injured my other six children," cried Salad Mohammad Hassan Farrah.

Unrest, a usual phenomenon in Somalia, regularly takes toll on civilians, who get caught in crossfire as militants, armed group and government forces engage in fire exchange.

However, the recent attack opened a new chapter in the war-torn country's violence as it targeted the house of civilians who have no links with warlords or other parties involved in battles.

The incident deals another blow to the newly-formed Somali government headed by Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, who has vowed to stabilize the country. Somalia has been in turmoil since the 1991 ouster of dictator Siad Barre by war lords.

Violence peaked in 2006, when foreign intervention in support of the embattled Somali transitional government was faced with stiff responses from the public and opposition fighters.

The conflict has killed more than 16,000 people and displaced 1 million others since 2007.

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