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War is Boring: Somali Islamists Escalate War with Clinic Attack

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

It was a rare refuge in a country that had known only war for 19 years: In Afgooye, a town just a few miles outside Mogadishu, the staff of the Dr. Hawa Abdi camp offered food, medical care and protection to as many as 6,000 Somali families at a time. Through two decades of war and occupation, the staff and its charismatic director carefully maintained their neutrality -- and managed to preserve the camp's delicate infrastructure despite the chaos that raged just beyond the walls.

On May 5, all that changed. A faction of Islamic fighters occupied the camp, killed some staffers and captured others, and disrupted food handouts and medical care for thousands of refugees. The attack represented a dangerous escalation of the Somali conflict. At the time of writing, four days after the takeover, the camp's future is uncertain. ...

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