Fierce fighting erupts in Mogadishu

Thousands flee their homes after clashes leave at least 20 people dead.

    Thousands of people were fleeing their homes
    seeking safety

    Attacks intensifying

    Sheikh Mohamed Ibrahim Bilal, a senior al Shabab official, said: "We killed an uncountable number of government fighters and moderate Islamists. Their dead bodies lie in the streets."

    Armed groups in Mogadishu have in recent days intensified attacks against government targets.

    Sharif Ahmed, the former leader of the Islamic Court Union, was sworn in as president in January and has pledged to do "everything imaginable" to stabilise Somalia.

    He has been trying to broker peace with warring groups and gain legitimacy, but his administration wields little control outside Mogadishu and needs support from African Union peacekeepers.

    Fighters opposed to the government see the 4,350 AU peacekeepers as "foreign invaders" and obstacles to peace.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    When Muslims ruled the civilised world

    When Muslims ruled the civilised world

    Beyond the paradox of celebrating a bygone Islamic civilization at the height of Islamophobia in the United States.

    Afghan asylum seekers resort to sex work in Athens

    Afghan asylum seekers resort to sex work in Athens

    In the rundown Pedion Areos Park, older men walk slowly by young asylum seekers before agreeing on a price for sex.