MOGADISHU, Somalia, May 25 (UPI) -- Rival factions battled for control of Somalia's capital city Thursday with thousands fleeing Mogandishu to escape the violence.
The death toll continued to rise as militia fighters loyal to the Islamic Courts pushed fighters for a coalition of war lords out of the center of the city. Thursday's deaths added to a toll that includes 140 people killed before the two sides agreed to a truce 10 days ago.
"The fighting has been very heavy today, mainly in the southern part of the city," Mohamed Moallim Abukar-Ganey, who heads the Hiraan Relief and Development Organisation, told the United Nations news agency IRIN.
New fighting between the Islamic courts and the Alliance for Peace and the Fight Against International Terrorism broke out Tuesday night, IRIN said.
The East African country of Somalia has no functioning central government.