Red Cross: Somalis swamp hospitals after 8 violent days

September 1, 2010 13:43


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GENEVA — Eight days of deadly clashes between government forces and al-Qaida-linked insurgents have forced dozens of people to seek surgical care and left Somalia's capital in a critical state, the international Red Cross said Tuesday.

The fighting in Mogadishu started Aug. 23 and has already killed more than 70 civilians, while wounding hundreds more.

Islamist insurgent movement al-Shabab, which controls much of central and southern Somalia, is trying to overthrow the weak, UN-backed Somali government and install a harsh brand of Islam across the country.

Benjamin Wahren, the International Committee of the Red Cross' deputy aid chief for the Horn of Africa, told reporters in Geneva on Tuesday that he didn't see how the situation "could worsen at the moment."

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