At least 30 people have died in nine days of fighting over grazing land in southern Somalia, witnesses and officials said Friday.
Ten people, including four children, died late Thursday in the fighting, which has pitted clan-based militias against each other in Heejow Mahaad 200 kilometers (125 miles) southwest of Mogadishu, witnesses told The Associated Press by two-way radio.
They asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation from the militias.
The fighting started Sept. 29 when local farmers and pastoralists clashed over a plot of land. Regional leader Sheikh Yusuf Mohamed Siyad Indha-ade and clan elders have appealed to both sides to stop fighting and begin peace talks.
Hundreds of people have fled their homes in the area to avoid getting caught in the crossfire. The fighters are using heavy machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades that can easily tear through most Somali homes, reports the AP. I.L.