TODAY   |  August 16, 2011

Mogadishu: The world's 'most dangerous place'

Millions are fighting for their lives as famine, drought and violence rage in Somalia's largest city. TODAY’s Ann Curry reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> now to the crisis in africa. millions are fighting for their lives as famine, drought, and violence rage in somalia . ann curry is there with an eye-opening look at what people are facing. ann, good morning.

>> matt, good morning. as you know, minus team and i have covered many humanitarian disasters over the years, but never have we witnessed one in a place as dangerous as somalia . mogadishu, somalia , is the capital of chaos. torn to ruins by decades of war and anarchy. it is filled with weapons and suffocated by fear. this is where blackhawk down happened where somali pirates operate. it's considered by many the most dangerous place in the world, even by the battle hardened. lieutenant colonel and african union peacekeeper takes us to the front line of just the latest fighting. our armored personnel carrier at the ready for any sign of attack. we keep moving, ieds and suicide bombs an ever present threat. at one stop seconds after an ak-47 sounds off we move quickly out of the area. we reach protected high ground , a command post in an old stadium. peacekeepers at the moment are winning the battle for territory against al qaeda -supported islamists called al shabaab . you say over there is a. field factory where al shabaab was manufacturing ied snz.

>> yes.

>> reporter: we were given an exclusive look at the bomb factory seized 24 hours earlier. a munitions expert was securing the site and gathering evidence for the fbi.

>> hand grenades .

>> yes.

>> ieds . and those are?

>> mortars. some can be used for ieds .

>> reporter: the bombs remain so they can be triggered to cell phones, similar to ieds used in afghanistan and iraq. you're saying this is a training ground for al qaeda ?

>> you got it.

>> reporter: the spread of the terrorism has turned a drought into a famine that didn't have to happen. the violence making it hard for international aid agencies to reach people in need . all these children are hungry. they have their hands out, they're shaking my hand. and with the need so great, especially with the lives of millions of children in the balance, one frustrated aide worker asked me, where is the humanity? hope came from members of the u.n. security council on monday who called on the world to contribute more resources to these peacekeepers who are trying to create safe passage for international aid so that fewer people will die in this famine. matt?

>> ann curry , thank you very much. stay safe. we appreciate it.