Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Somali Islamists seize town from government troops

by Aweys Yusuf from Reuters

"It is true that Islamists captured Bule Burte (140 miles north of Mogadishu), but they will not last there. The government will fight them and will liberate the town from the enemy," Yusuf Ahmed Hagar, government chairman of Hiraan province, told Reuters by phone. The Islamists, who before their defeat by the government and Ethiopian troops a year ago had tried to impose Islamic sharia law on Somalia, put sharia into force again in Bule Burte, residents said. Witnesses said an Islamist who called himself Amin Daad gave a short speech to people of the town after seizing it from a handful of Somali troops. "You should limit your movements because we are now in operation and when we are finished with our duties, we will meet you," Daad told the people of Bule Burte. Islamist insurgents have fought back against the government and allied Ethiopian troops in the capital Mogadishu since they were ejected by them a year ago in a lightning war backed by U.S. intelligence.

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