Mogadishu, November 14: Heavy clashes between Somali government troops backed by African Union forces and al-Shabab fighters have left at least 12 people dead and 24 others wounded in Mogadishu.
Seven people -- mostly soldiers -- lost their lives early on Thursday when al-Shabab fighters launched an attack against Somali soldiers in Mogadishu's northern district of Boondheere. Scores of troops were also wounded in the battle, Radio Garowe reported on Saturday.
In a separate incident on the same day, three civilians were killed and seven others sustained injuries in the Warhdiigley district when clashes broke out between Somali forces and al-Shabab fighters.
In addition, two civilians were killed and twelve were wounded on Thursday after several mortar shells landed in and around the Bakara market -- the biggest and busiest market in Mogadishu.
Also on Thursday, five civilians suffered grave injuries when two landmines went off in Mogadishu. Somali ambulance workers said they transported the wounded to Mogadishu's Medina Hospital.
In a recent report, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) stated that hundreds of civilians have been injured in fighting in Somalia in recent months.
The Geneva-based humanitarian institution said that a total of 5,000 patients with war injuries, including 1,900 women and children, were admitted to Mogadishu's Keysaney and Medina hospitals from January through September.
Compared to last year, it is an increase of 25 percent in the total number of war casualties and 72 percent in the number of war-wounded women and children admitted to the hospitals.
Some 4,000 patients with war injuries, among them 1,100 women and children, were taken to Mogadishu's two referral hospitals in 2009.
Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991, when warlords overthrew former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.
Over the past two decades, up to one million people have lost their lives in fighting between rival factions and due to famine and disease.
There are more than 1.4 million internally displaced people (IDPs) in Somalia. Over 300,000 of the IDPs are sheltered in Mogadishu.
Most of the displaced live in poor and degrading conditions on makeshift sites in southern and central Somalia, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.