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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 May 2006, 16:46 GMT 17:46 UK
Eyewitness: Running from Mogadishu fighting
Teacher Ahmed Mohammed Fardolle, 29, spoke to the BBC News website from an area just south of where the fighting has been raging in Somalia's capital.

Since Sunday, he has not been able to return to his home in north Mogadishu known as CC where the fighting broke out.

Street in Mogadishu
The streets of Mogadishu are mostly empty
I am standing in front of the Hayat Hospital in the centre of our unsafe capital.

While I drink my cup of tea, people are coming and going, passing me. Some are covered with blood.

They are busy worrying about their relatives.

The hospital does not have enough medicine to treat all the injured. There are not enough supplies. Some of the doctors and nurses have said that they cannot save all of the wounded.

They do not have what they need to operate and so are having to tell the family that their relatives will die.

Suffering is all we have.

Families are saying that if only they had the money needed to pay for the much-needed supplies and to pay for the treatment it would be alright.

But even if they had the money they wouldn't be able to buy what is needed. All the businesses around here and in the north are closed.


So many are being hurt. Mostly women and children.

The problem is that many cannot stay in their homes, or in the camps for the displaced, and as they try to run away from the fighting to places where it is safe, like Afgoye, they are hurt.

A patient lies in bed at the Hayat Hospital in Mogadishu
The hospitals have insufficient supplies to treat all the wounded

Nobody can see who is who - when the fighters open fire, the fire doesn't have eyes to see the enemies from the civilians.

Mostly the streets are empty but when you do see people, they are not crowding around like they normally do. They are not stopping to greet everyone they pass.

They are not stopping at all - they're running.

And they are worrying. Worrying about what will happen to their children and what will happen to their house.


I hate them and what they've done to our city

There are warring vehicles or "battlewagons" - four-wheel drive trucks mounted with heavy machine guns - positioned at every junction around here. The fighters have many guns. I have seen hundreds of AK-47s, the number of guns is uncountable.

The fighting is raging between the gunmen - those loyal to the warlords against the Islamist militia. From Sunday afternoon up to now.

Facts and figures about life in Somalia

I don't support either of the sides.

I want everything to be solved peacefully using negotiation techniques, diplomatically.

I hate them and what they've done to our city.

There was a heavy exchange of fire at the Kilometre Four junction near the Sahafi hotel. Five civilians were wounded.

We don't know how many of the fighters are wounded during the battles because they don't come to the city's public hospitals. The two warring groups have their own separate secret hospitals.


About 20 Islamist militiamen just passed me.

They asked me who I was talking to. I told them it was my sister.

Bakara market in Mogadishu
The normally crowded Bakara market is quiet and empty

They warned me to not go any nearer to the green line. They told me that if I do my mobile will be taken and I will be killed.

Everything is closed around here. Even Bakara, Mogadishu's busiest market in the city centre, is completely quiet.

Two mortars landed on the normally crowded market around midday, no-one was killed but many were hurt.

The traders have since fled, carrying as much of their goods as they could.

There are fears of looting.

We have a Somali proverb: "Fursaddu hal mar oo keliya ayay albaabka soo garaacdaa ee labo goor maya" - the opportunity knocks on the door once but not twice.

It is feared that if the situation deteriorates further then militiamen and civilians alike will takes their chances and take the profits from business owners.

Why can't an opportunity for peace knock on our door?

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