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Calm reported in Somalia


MOGADISHU, Somalia- After two days of deadly violence in Somalia's capital Mogadishu, there was tense calm Friday among the opposing war lords and Islamic militia.

"Today, the situation is calm, but there are no [ceasefire] negotiations going on," Abdullahi Ali Hassan with the non-governmental Centre for Education and Development was quoted as saying by the U.N. Integrated Regional Information Networks.

IRIN, which does not speak for the world body, cited local media reports that at least 30 people have been killed in the fighting and 100 more wounded. Thousands of people have fled the city.

Hassan said militia loyal to the Islamic coalition appeared to be in control of much of south Mogadishu, the report said.

U.N. envoy Francois Lounseny Fall has condemned the fighting and demanded an immediate and unconditional end to the violence.

No government has been in control of the Horn of Africa nation since 1991, when the administration of President Muhammad Siyad Barre was overthrown.

Concerned At Flare-Up of Fighting in Somalia, Annan Calls for Ceasefire

Reacting to the flare up of clashes in Somalia's capital today, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan backed the calls by numerous local and international officials for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire.

"The Secretary-General is gravely concerned at the resumption of fighting in Mogadishu between warring militias belonging to the Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism and those of the Sharia Courts," a spokesman for Mr. Annan said in a statement which deplored the deaths and suffering caused by the renewed violence.

"The Secretary-General calls on both sides to enter into an immediate and unconditional ceasefire, as appealed for by the people of Mogadishu, clan leaders, and the international community, including his Special Representative for Somalia," the spokesman said.

Urging the parties to step up efforts to find solutions to the conflict within the framework of the country's Transitional Federal Charter, Mr. Annan also called on them "to respect international humanitarian and human rights law, ensure humanitarian access to populations in need, and ensure the protection of humanitarian workers."

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