- The United Nations refugees agency says recent clashes in the war torn Somalia has displaced an estimated 63, 000 since the beginning of the year.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees spokeswoman, Roberta Russo, said some 14,000 of that number were displaced from and within Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, in the past two weeks when government forces and Al Shabaab militants intensified clashes against each other.
She said fresh battles in central Somalia's Belet Weyne and Galgaduud areas have left thousands more homeless.
According MS Ruso, there are already another 50,000 internally displaced people in the surrounding Hiraan region, bordering Ethiopia.
The pro-government Ahlu Suna Waljama group had been battling insurgent group Hizbul Islam in the town of Beledweyene. Nearby, more fighting has been waged against Hizbul Islam ally al-Shabaab - which the West says has close links to al-Qaeda. Both insurgent groups are fighting to topple the weak Western- backed government.
The refugee agency also estimates that about 28,800 people have been displaced in the area around the town of Dhuusamareeb, in the Galgaduud region in central Somalia, and are in urgent need of shelter, water and health care.
Somalia continues to be one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world, with some 1.5 million internally displaced people and more than 560,000 people living as refugees in neighboring countries, the refugee agency says, mainly in Kenya, Yemen and Ethiopia.
Over 19,000 people have died in the current insurgency, which kicked off in early 2007 after Ethiopian forces invaded to oust an Islamist regime that ruled for six months in 2006.
Somalia has not had an effective since the 1991 ouster of its dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.
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