(formerly IRIN News) Journalism from the heart of crises

Over 60 killed as fighting resumes in central region

At least 60 people were killed and another 90 wounded in renewed fighting on Tuesday in the northwest of Galgadud Region, according to local sources in the regional capital, Dhusa-Mareb.

The latest fighting broke out on between the Darod subclan of the Marehan and the Dir subclan of Fiqi Muhumud, and was concentrated in and around the village of Herale, some 80 km northwest of Dhusa-Mareb, said Nur Mu'allim Dhere, a member of the Dir clan.

Last month Herale, which is populated by the Fiqi Mahmud, was also the scene of serious fighting between the two sides which left over 50 people dead.

Nur told IRIN that in the latest clash, 18 fighters on his side had been killed and 29 wounded, while the other side suffered 25 deaths.

Sources in Abud Waaq, 40 km west of the Herale, where the Marehan have taken their casualties, told IRIN that at least 30 dead and 70 wounded had been brought in.

According to sources from a neutral clan in the area, what started out as "revenge killings" had now flared up into a "fully-fledged land war".

"Basically, the Marehan want the Fiqi Muhumud out of the area, and until one group gives up, the fighting will probably continue," the sources said, adding that heavy weapons had been used in Tuesday's fighting.

Intensive mediation efforts on the part of elders and religious leaders from neutral clans seem to have failed. "We have been unable to bring the two sides together to start talking," said Ilmi Hirsi, a clan elder. "However, we are persevering with our efforts and hope that cooler heads will prevail."

The situation was reported calm on Wednesday, with both sides burying their dead and taking the injured to hospitals.

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