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Guriel clashes displaced 18,000 people – Somali gov’t

MOGADISHU (SD) – More than 18,000 people have been displaced from their homes in Guriel town of Galgaduud region following three day long fighting between Somali government forces and Ahlu sunna fighters.

A joint statement from the federal humanitarian affairs ministry and its equivalents in the Federal Member States noted Monday that majority of these displaced person spend their night in an open areas on the outskirts of the town.

This is in addition to more than 100,000 people who have fled from a local town in Galmudug state in central Somalia due to high tensions and potential conflict between local government and a paramilitary group.

Aid agencies worry about the impact the new displacement will have on the overstretched host communities.

“Displaced people include about 1,005 unaccompanied minors and 2,009 persons with disabilities and health related complications,” UNOCHA said.

Last Sunday, the fighting lulled after the government accepted a call by Ahlusunna Waljamaa leaders to cart away the bodies of their fighters killed in Saturday fighting.

But sources confirmed the clashes resumed later in the day with some military officials saying the fighting caused heavy casualties on both sides.

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