Deaths, 'scores of injured' in south Somalia clashes: UNHCR

4th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

The UN refugee agency warned Tuesday of deaths, "scores of injured" in southern Somalia and "significant" displacement from the border town of Dhobley amid renewed clashes between armed groups.

"The renewed clashes are between opposing armed groups and are further exacerbating the already severe humanitarian situation," said Adrian Edwards, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

"We have received initial, unconfirmed reports of deaths and scores of injured people," he added.

Of key concern was the situation in Dhobley, a Somali-Kenyan border town which is a transit point for Somalis fleeing famine and fighting to Dadaab, the world's largest refugee camp.

"Although we are yet to ascertain the number of people fleeing from Dhobley, we estimate the new displacement to be significant," said Edwards.

UNHCR said sources on the ground report that people have moved to the neighbouring districts of Afmadow, Kismayo, Baydhaba and Bardheere, as well as into Kenya.

On average, about 1,000 new Somali refugees arrive daily at Kenya's Dadaab refugee camp. Since the beginning of the year, over 300,000 Somalis have left their country, the UNHCR said.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs noted that the food shortage situation in Somalia remained severe, with 750,000 people at risk of dying if they are not given aid urgently.

© 2011 AFP

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