Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

US tobacco giants want lion's share of e-cigarette business

Read more

ENCORE!

Bold and bonkers: Kate Bush is back on stage

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Simon Serfaty, US foreign policy specialist

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'It's a War, Stupid!'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

French PM calls on ECB to go further to help economy

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'I love the Socialists'

Read more

WEB NEWS

Ukraine: Web users call for international assistance

Read more

WEB NEWS

France: Fighting political corruption with transparency

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

  • Ukrainian forces retreat from Luhansk airport after clashes

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces free Armeli in biggest victory over IS militants since June

    Read more

  • Teddy Riner, France’s unstoppable judo champion

    Read more

  • Monaco’s Falcao set for Man Utd loan on transfer deadline day

    Read more

  • Spain orders custody for parents of ill British boy

    Read more

  • Anti-government protesters storm Pakistan's state TV

    Read more

  • Putin calls for talks on 'statehood' for east Ukraine

    Read more

  • Poland marks 75 years since German invasion of WWII

    Read more

  • Israel appropriates large tracts of West Bank land

    Read more

  • Rescue efforts under way after French apartment block blast

    Read more

  • Web doc on French self-immolation protests takes top prize

    Read more

  • PSG trounce Saint-Etienne 5-0 with Ibrahimovic hat trick

    Read more

  • Tension rises in Hong Kong as Beijing rejects open elections

    Read more

  • French police stop 'teenage jihadist' from flying to Syria

    Read more

  • Kidnapped Yazidi women 'sold to Islamists' in Syria

    Read more

  • Confusion reigns after Lesotho 'coup'

    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

COMMENT(S)