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Wednesday, 29 May, 2002, 09:56 GMT 10:56 UK
Somali Government loses ground
Gunmen in Mogadishu
Militias have been fighting since 1991
Forces of the transitional government in Somalia are reported to have lost control of two key areas in northern Mogadishu during heavy clashes on Tuesday with fighters loyal to two warlords, Musa Sudi Yalahow and Mohammed Dhereh.

At least 25 people were killed, and some 50 injured. A number of the dead were civilians.

President Abdulkassim Salat Hassan
President Salat has a shaky hold on power
Latest reports say the situation is calm: one of the warlords, Mr Yalahow, told the BBC that he had no intention of starting fresh attacks.

The BBC's Hassan Barise in Mogadishu says the interim government has a fragile hold on much of the city.

Mr Yalahow is a member of the Somali Reconciliation and Restoration Council, a grouping of warlords opposed to the Transitional National Government (TNG) and backed by neighbouring Ethiopia.

The TNG accuses Ethiopia of trying to overturn its rule and keep Somalia weak and divided.

Ethiopia denies these allegations and says the TNG is using it as a scapegoat for its failure to control its territory.

The TNG, led by President Abdulkassim Salat Hassan, was set up in 2000 in neighbouring Djibouti in an attempt to end the years of anarchy which followed the downfall of Siad Barre in 1991.

However, it only controls parts of Mogadishu and little territory outside the capital.

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BBC's Hassan Barise speaking to Focus on Africa
"The Transitional Government has suffered a serious setback"

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28 May 02 | Africa
25 May 02 | Africa
24 May 02 | Africa
24 Jan 02 | Africa
24 Sep 01 | Africa
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