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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 May 2006, 13:06 GMT 14:06 UK
'This civil war is normal to us'
Student Ahmed Hasan, 21, spoke to the BBC News website from his home in southern Mogadishu about the heavy fighting that is intensifying in Somalia's capital.

Women walking in Mogadishu (Photo: Ahmed Mohammed Fardolle)
Women are fleeing the city with their small children
We woke up to the sound of gunfire. It was early, about 0530 local time. The fighting was very close and it frightened us.

I got up and went quickly to a nearby area, the scene of the fighting, to see if some of my relatives were all right. They were but their neighbour's home was hit by a mortar shell.

A young girl, their daughter, was killed.

Then as I walked in the street on my way home I saw a stray bullet hit a girl in the head. All of us that were there helped as much as we could and I have heard since that she is still alive, although severely injured.

If she does live, she will definitely suffer permanent damage as the bullet must have touched some of the nerves in her head.


It was unfortunate that she was hit.

It was because the fighting was so close, confusing, and was taking place in different directions.

This civil war has become almost normal to us. It is sad

There were battles raging close to the K4 area and then clashes were also taking place in Damile, close to the military barracks named after former President Siad Barre, the Academy of Kale Siad.

It took me 15 minutes to walk from where my relatives live to where I live with my parents and my newly-wed wife, in the area known as Black Sea.

When I returned my wife was delighted. She was so happy that I was safe.


The thing is though that us Somalis that live in our capital, Mogadishu, we seem to be adjusting to the bad situation in our city. Now when fighting resumes, people do not stay at home.

Before that was the way. But now, even in areas where fighting is nearby, most shops are open - people are going about their business.

A lot of people go close to the scenes of the fighting to find out what is actually happening. We want to know the facts. Yes it is dangerous, yet Somalis accept it.

We are adapting to the situation. We are accustomed to it and do not feel scared.

Well, not that frightened.

The women and the girls do. But the men do not and nor do some of the young children.

This civil war has become almost normal to us.

It is sad.

Somalis are suffering. Yesterday when this fighting resumed people were not shocked.

Facts and figures about life in Somalia

People are coming to realise that this sort of fighting is not going to terminate. It is endless.

We have a saying in Somali: "Markii ay timaado waqtigayga dhimashada, waan ogahay waan dhiman doonaa, marka waa inaan shaqadayda iska wataa." It means that when my death time cometh, I know that I will die and so I must keep on with my work until then.

When we see each other and greet one another, this is what we say.


The heavy fighting around K4 on Thursday morning has now subsided because the Islamic courts have control. They gained the Sahafi Hotel, the K4 junction and the CID centre from the alliance of warlords.

The Islamic courts are known for their persistence however the alliance may launch a counter-attack. I have been told people have seen them re-grouping.

We will see what happens but until then, the shops are open, we have food, our tap has running water - we are all right.

Repeatedly, I ask my wife to leave the city. I beg her to go with the other women and small children that are fleeing the fighting but she also seems to have become adjusted. She resists.

She tells me that she wants to stay with me.

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