At least 43 people were killed and hundreds of others wounded in the past 48 hours, as dueling offensives by the AU-backed Somali government and a militant faction led to some of the fiercest fighting in weeks.
Most of the casualties are civilians, according to ambulance workers, and the fighting prevented them from rescuing the people who lay dying in the streets. AU forces shelled the northern portion of the city, including civilian neighborhoods.
The fighting also drove civilians in Northern Mogadishu from their homes, adding to the growing refugee problem. Both sides claimed victory in the fighting, but there has been no verification of that.
Civilian deaths in the lawless nation are an enormous problem, as the Somali government aims to establish control of something other than the immediate vicinity around their presidential palace. Shelling in the residential neighborhoods are all too common whenever the fighting breaks out.