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World Briefing / Somalia

Refugee flight empties capital

July 08, 2009|TIMES WIRE REPORTS

Much of Somalia's capital has become a ghost town as more than 200,000 residents have fled intensified clashes between Islamist insurgents and government troops, the U.N. and a medical charity said.

Medecins Sans Frontieres announced it had been forced to close a pediatric hospital and three health clinics in the north of Mogadishu -- the first time it has done so in 17 years.

The group is one of the few charities remaining in the country.

The U.N. refugee agency says 204,000 Somalis have fled Mogadishu since May.

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