Burial for forsaken Somali bodies

WAR SPOILS: A Somali woman and her children in a makeshift camp for displaced people in the outskirts of Mogadishu. Pic. Sheikh Nor. 03/04/07. © AP.
WAR SPOILS: A Somali woman and her children in a makeshift camp for displaced people in the outskirts of Mogadishu. Pic. Sheikh Nor. 03/04/07. © AP.

MOGADISHU - Mogadishu residents planned burials yesterday for dozens of bodies left abandoned in streets, buildings and morgues after some of the heaviest fighting in the Somali capital for 15 years.

MOGADISHU - Mogadishu residents planned burials yesterday for dozens of bodies left abandoned in streets, buildings and morgues after some of the heaviest fighting in the Somali capital for 15 years.

Though the city remained tense, locals felt emboldened to venture back on to the streets by an extended lull in the violence that broke out last Thursday with an Ethiopian offensive on Islamist rebels backed by clan militia.

A local rights group said 381 civilians had died and 565 were wounded in the four days of clashes.

On Tuesday elders from Mogadishu's dominant Hawiye clan said they had agreed with Ethiopian commanders to halt hostilities to allow for the bodies of the dead to be collected.

Ethiopian commanders have yet to confirm any truce.

Fighting blocked the dead from being buried within 24 hours in accordance with Muslim rites, and medics warned of looming health hazards if the bodies were left out in the open.

A US-backed global panel on Tuesday called for a cease-fire and the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops. - Sapa-AFP

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