Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FASHION

Paris, Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

2014-07-14 09:21 IN THE WORLD PRESS

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Farnborough air show takes off but F-35 jet is grounded

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Bastille Day celebrations

Read more

TOUR DE TECH

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola death toll increases in Sierra Leone

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Finally, a good use for new app "Yo"

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Viviane Reding, MEP, European People's Party

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Schulz returns to Parliament presidency: back to business as usual?

Read more

  • Live: France celebrates Bastille Day

    Read more

  • In pictures: 2014 World Cup historic moments

    Read more

  • Boules and booze: Bastille Day à la New Yorkaise

    Read more

  • Clashes erupt in Paris as thousands march to support Palestinians

    Read more

  • Operations underway to refloat shipwrecked Costa Concordia

    Read more

  • Germany defeat Argentina 1-0 to win fourth World Cup title

    Read more

  • Paris’s Bastille Day fireworks ‘a homage to victims’ of WWI

    Read more

  • Thousands flee northern Gaza after Israeli warning

    Read more

  • Major differences remain as deadline looms in Iran nuclear talks

    Read more

  • Rival Libyan militias exchange heavy fire at Tripoli airport

    Read more

  • French military to extend Mali 'counterterrorism' operations into Sahel

    Read more

  • Legendary conductor Lorin Maazel dies aged 84

    Read more

  • Germany’s Tony Martin wins ninth stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Boko Haram claims Nigeria attacks and supports Iraqi militants

    Read more

A dozen killed in fighting between rival Islamists

©

Latest update : 2008-12-27

A local militia launched an offensive against radical Islamist Shabaab fighters who had taken control of the town of Gurael, north of the capital Mogadishu, in early December. Twelve people were killed.

REUTERS -  Twelve people were killed on Saturday when an Islamist group seized control of a central Somali town in a battle with hardline al Shabaab militants, residents said.
 

Al Shabaab, which means youth in Arabic, captured Gurael, 370 km (230 miles) north of the capital Mogadishu on Dec. 6,  after three days of fighting with a government-allied moderate Sunni Islamist group in the area.
 

Locals said the Sunni Islamist group ousted by al Shabaab three weeks ago known as "Ahlu Sunna Waljamaca" had been regrouping and launched their attack on Saturday morning.
 

"I have counted 12 dead fighters lying in the alleys of Gurael," witness Ali Aden told Reuters. "Some of them were injured by a mortar that landed in the hospital. Others were hit by stray bullets," he added.
 

Al Shabaab, which is on Washington's list of foreign terrorist groups, and other more moderate rebel Islamist groups control all of the south and centre of Somalia except Mogadishu and Baidoa, the seat of parliament.
 

A spokesman from Ahlu Sunna Waljamaca said the group was fighting al Shabaab because they had killed several religious leaders and had desecrated graves, which he said was against Islam.
 

"We shall continue our war until we eliminate al Shabaab, they are not Muslims ... Gurael is under our control and soon
all central regions will follow suit," Sheikh Abdullahi Sheikh Abu Yusuf told Reuters by telephone.
 

More than 10,000 civilians have been killed during the two-year insurgency, a million people uprooted and a third of
the population need emergency aid in a humanitarian crisis that has been described as one of the worst in the world.
 

Ethiopian troops, which have been propping up the government since 2006, are due to withdraw from Somalia by the end of this month, and some diplomats and analysts fear their withdrawal will plunge Somalia further into anarchy.
 

Somalia's President Abdullahi Yusuf is expected to resign soon, bowing to pressure from western countries and regional
leaders who accuse him of obstructing peace efforts aimed at including opposition groups in the country's government.
 

Analysts say Islamists must be included in peace talks with the government to ensure lasting peace in the chaotic country which has been without a central government for 17 years.

Date created : 2008-12-27

Comments

COMMENT(S)