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Page last updated at 18:26 GMT, Sunday, 5 October 2008 19:26 UK

Inside Somalia's danger zone

Somalia, on the north east coast of Africa, is perhaps the ultimate 'failed state'.

Civil wars, fuelled by outside intervention, have been raging almost constantly for the past 20 years - and during most of that time there hasn't been a functioning central government.

It is one of the most dangerous places in the world, with killings, kidnappings and piracy off the coast all rife.

The BBC's Mark Doyle has had rare access to the capital Mogadishu, the epicentre of the violence.

ON PATROL IN MOGADISHU

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On patrol with AU troops in Mogadishu

Mark Doyle joins African Union peacekeeping troops as they patrol the Somali capital - and sees the extent of the devastation caused by the years of civil war.

VISITING A MOGADISHU CLINIC
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At a clinic in Mogadishu

The Ugandan Army field clinic in Mogadishu is inundated with people from the violent capital, desperately seeking the limited free medical care that the African Union soldiers and doctors can offer.

ON A FOOD AID SHIP BOUND FOR SOMALIA

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On a food aid ship bound for Somalia

Mark Doyle travelled to Mombasa, Kenya to join a UN World Food Programme ship being loaded up before leaving for Mogadishu. Some three million Somalis currently require aid.

He also spent time on a Canadian naval vessel which accompanies the food aid ship on its journey, in an attempt to prevent attacks of piracy.




SEE ALSO
US warships surround pirates
02 Oct 08 |  Africa
Profile: African Union
04 Apr 08 |  Country profiles
Country profile: Somalia
18 Jun 08 |  Country profiles

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