MOGADISHU, Somalia, May 12 (UPI) -- The death toll from fighting between secular Somali warlords and Islamist militants has risen to 130 as both sides vie for control of the capital, Mogadishu.
Street battles erupted again Thursday morning and continue to rage on as factions exchange heavy weapons fire, according to the Somalia-based Shabeelle Media Network.
Exact losses since the violence began Sunday are not known, but doctors have confirmed 130 dead and more than 250 injured. Civilians trapped in the crossfire of machine guns and artillery shells comprise the majority of reported casualties.
Militiamen loyal to an Islamic court system are facing off against an alliance of warlords that have formed a self-styled counter-terrorism bloc to purge extremism from the lawless East African country.
Somalia's 11 million people have been without a functional government since dictator Mohamed Siad Barre was overthrown in 1991.