Some 258 civilians were killed in clashes between government troops and rebel militia in central Somalia last month, the UNHCR said Tuesday, making January the deadliest month since August. "Violence in Somalia sharply escalated in January, resulting in hundreds of civilian deaths and widespread destruction," said Andrej Mahecic, spokesman of the UN refugees agency. "According to local sources, intense clashes between government forces and militia groups fighting for control of the conflict-torn central regions have left at least 258 civilians dead and another 253 wounded, which makes January the deadliest month since last August," he said. The fighting displaced over 80,000 Somalis during the month, including 18,000 who fled their homes in the capital Mogadishu, the UNHCR said.