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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 April 2007, 17:23 GMT 18:23 UK
'Somalia at edge of the grave'
Somali father Isa Ali Gedi, 37, updates us on what has happened to his family after telling us last week about his son being killed when their home in the capital, Mogadishu was hit by Ethiopian mortars. Fighting has resumed in the city, following UN warnings of a humanitarian disaster.

Wednesday 25 March:

I left Mogadishu [to find my family] three days ago but I came back again this evening, because of what I saw.

Artillery shells have rained down on Mogadishu for a seventh day
A man accused of spying is tied up by an insurgent in Mogadishu

My family didn't have anything: neither food nor household supplies. So I had to return to get some supplies.

They are sheltering under a tree. They have some sticks to shelter from the cold at night.

There is no food at all. But they went to an area where my clan is from.

Some of the other families gathered food for their basic needs, but it's difficult.

Right now, I can hear bullets coming from a villa.

If it's true, [that the Prime Minister of Ethiopia says he expects Ethiopian troops to be able to clear Mogadishu in two weeks] I'll go back in the first hour.

But right now there are at least 30,000 troops in Mogadishu.

How can they clear that number in two weeks' time?

Friday 20 March.
Hawiye clan soldiers fire towards Ethiopian troops in Mogadishu
The Somali capital is besieged by fierce fighting

My son is dead. He was 16 years old. He finished school last month and was about to go to university.

My house was crushed, collapsed by the mortars of the Ethiopian troops

A relative of mine also died.

The rest of my family fled out of Mogadishu because they could not [bear to] see the flesh of our son, who was lying in the middle of the house.

Earlier this morning I heard from my family. They managed to leave the city and are safe, thanks to God.

The fighting here is very heavy.

The Ethiopian troops are throwing mortars [shelling]. They have huge tanks. When you hear the noise of them, you might easily think that there is an earthquake while it is passing you.

People are running from their houses, to anywhere they can. They don't know where to go, they don't really have anywhere to go but it is better to leave our city than stay.

Plea for help

We, the people of Somalia, are at the edge of the grave.

The truth has come.

I blame the world for this.

Somalia is a member of the United Nations but what are they doing? The UN is just looking at what is happening here. That country [Ethiopia], our enemy, has entered our country and is just killing the people.

I blame our provisional government, backed by the UN and the Ethiopian troops for all this.

Gunfire is heard in the background.

Where is the UK? Where is the Arab League? Why don't they intervene with what is going on here in Mogadishu?

All the people are dying in Mogadishu and the UN is just looking... for what?

They can see that so many people are dying.

We are a member of the UN but they don't help us. We want the UN to intervene in Mogadishu.

Isa Ali Gedi's ordeal amid the fighting


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