Original source:

Hundreds fled Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on Monday after at least 35 people were killed in some of the worst fighting in the city in weeks.

The violence comes as Islamic insurgents step up their campaign to topple President Sheik Sharif Ahmed, whose control of the country has been reduced to just a few city blocks in Mogadishu and a couple of frontier towns.

The renewed violence is pitting pro-government fighters against those allied to Al-Shabab, an insurgent group seeking to overthrow Mr Ahmed, who is seen as pro-Western.

Ali Osman, who runs a small kiosk along a road leading to Mogadishu, said he saw masked fighters heading to the capital from the south, which is mostly controlled by Al-Shabab.

Some had wrapped black flags around their heads, which he said showed that they were Islamist fighters.