MOGADISHU, Dec. 6, 2008 (Reuters) — The hardline Islamist insurgent group al Shabaab has taken control of a central Somali trading town after fighting that killed at least 13 people and wounded dozens of others, residents said on Saturday..more..http://www.newsdaily.com/stories/tre4b50z1-us-somalia-conflict/
Shelling kills at least 15 in Somalia's capital
Islamist militia seizes control of Somali town
MOGADISHU, Somalia – A hard-line Islamist militia seized control Saturday of a central Somali town, raising fears that the al-Qaida linked insurgents may expand their territory before the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops supporting the crumbling government.The militant victory in the trading town of trading town of Gurael, 370 kilometers (230 miles) north of the capital, Mogadishu, adds to the recent gains of the al Shabab militia. Islamic fighters have seized control of most of southern and central Somalia in recent months, with the Al Shabab faction making the greatest gains.Ismail Ali, a nurse at Istarlin Hospital, said eight people had been killed and dozens wounded in the fighting between the extremists and a moderate local militia in Gurael.After several days of clashes, the residents' militia withdrew, leaving the militants controlling the town center. Fighters from a third faction previously allied to al Shabab withdrew without fighting, residents said."Now it seems that al Shabab is in full control," said Abdulahi Dahir Hidig, a local resident MOREMM .http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081206/ap_on_re_af/af_somalia/print Related Stores
GURI EL, Somalia Dec 5 - Fighting among Islamist groups was reported for a second time this week in the town of Guri El, in central Somalia's Galgadud region,reported Friday. There were no confirmed number of deaths, b ut witnesses reported seeing dead bodies on the ground as the battle raged.Local hospital sources reported that seven persons were wounded during the fighting and the town of Guri El remained tense Friday night. Witnesses said the fighting was between Al Shabaab guerrillas and fighters loyal to a Sufi group, Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jamee'a.There are conflicting reports as to the source of the violence, but most reports indicate that the Sufi fighters were angered by Al Shabaab's refusal to sentence a murder suspect.The suspect remains in Al Shabaab's hands, the sources added. The Sufi group has enjoyed public support for decades in Somalia, while Al Shabaab is a relatively new phenomenon that grew out of lawlessness, violence and poverty.