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Monday, 28 February 2011
Somali refugees flock to Mandera
NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 28 - Hundreds of Somalia refugees have flooded Mandera town following days of gunfight between Al Shabaab militiamen and Somali troops near the Kenyan border.
The Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) said it had registered up to 400 refugees from Somalia by Sunday afternoon.
"Following heavy fighting between Al Shabaab militants and forces allied to the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia along the Kenya-Somalia border, hundreds of refugees are scattered in Mandera town and its environs," Kenya Red Cross Spokesman Titus Mung'ou said in a statement.
Mr Mung'ou said KRCS volunteers had managed to attend to the refugees after a brief ceasefire on Sunday.
"A ceasefire along the border, most part of Sunday 27th February 2011 enabled the KRCS personnel to start registration of refugees that would facilitate distribution of relief aid," the statement added.
Renewed fighting along the border was however reported at about 6pm on Sunday, according to the Red Cross, which said it was assisting some 6,000 local residents displaced by the gun fight.
Last week, one person was shot dead and more than 10 others seriously wounded in an attack at the Kenya-Somalia border where Al Shabaab militias following the fighting.
The Kenya Red Cross reported on Friday that those wounded were being treated at the Mandera District Hospital.
"One woman has been reported dead at Border Point One and 10 casualties are being treated at Mandera District Hospital," Kenya Red Cross Secretary General Abbas Gullet had said in a statement.
He said several gunshots had also been fired at the Red Cross offices in Mandera but no casualty was reported.
The Society's Spokesman Titus Mung'ou said the situation had put the lives of humanitarian workers and other residents of Mandera town in grave danger.
On Monday, an uneasy calm was reported after hours of fighting on Sunday night.