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Somalia As Islamic State Worries Bush‎‎‎‎
ISSUE 229
Front Page
Index

This Week's Somaliland News

Headlines

Tensions In Baidowa After Clashes Between ‎Local Militia And Majerteen Troops

‎Exclusive Interview- Sheikh Sherif ‎Welcomes Dialogue With Washington

Mogadishu’s Islamic Courts: A Pyrrhic Victory?‎

UNPO On Somalia: Restart From Somaliland‎‎

U.S. to Hold Strategy Session on Somalia

SOMALIA: Tragic Cargo - Part One‎‎‎‎ Islamists Victory In Somalia Poses ‎Questions For US

Somalia Goes Down The Afghan Road‎‎‎‎

Regional Affairs

Somali Islamist gunmen on move
From correspondents in Mogadishu

Curfew imposed on tense Baidoa‎‎

UN Security Council Concerned At Rising ‎Violence In Somalia‎

In Mogadishu, Prayers Amid Lull In Violence

The Union Of Islamic Courts In Mogadishu ‎Break The Silence (Press Release)‎‎‎‎‎

Somalia As Islamic State Worries Bush

Warlord Militias Advance On Mogadishu

Transitional Gov't In Talks With Islamic Leaders

Editorial
Special Report

International News

CIA Blamed For Somalia Failure

'Painstaking' Operation Led To Al-Zarqawi

Groups Seeking Insight Into Somali Crisis ‎Consult Davidson College's Ken Menkhaus‎‎‎‎

Finland Could Reconsider Repatriations In ‎Light Of Situation In Somalia‎

Western Sahara & Morocco: Behind ‎The Moroccan Wall Of Shame

New Foundation Will Help Africans Set
Their Own Agenda For Long-Term Development‎‎

JOURNALISTS MEMORIAL IN BAYEUX (FRANCE)‎‎‎‎‎

FEATURES & COMMENTARY

SPECIAL REPORT:
Collapse Of US-Supported Somali Warlords Poses ‎Strategic Challenges For Washington, And The Horn‎

Hargeysa Journal
The Signs Say Somaliland, But The World Says Somalia

Somalia: Guess Who's Running It Now‎

Islamists Claim Rout Of US-Tied ‎Forces In Somalia

‎Storm Warning: Somalia‎‎‎

Food for thought

Opinions

Why The United States Should ‎Recognize Somaliland‎‎‎

Egal & ‘Greater Somalia’‎‎‎‎‎

On Somaliland's 15th Anniversary

Somaliland Times Owes ‎Samatar Brothers An Apology‎‎‎‎‎

For the Somaliland Haters‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎ ‎‎‎

Somaliland Sovereignty Under Attack ‎By Siyadist Remnants On TFG Payroll‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎ ‎‎‎

Taliban-style takeover power in Mogadishu. What is next?‎

Mr. President: Thanks, But No Thanks‎‎

Building Integrity To Fight Corruption:‎‎


MOGADISHU, June 06, 2006 – Islamic militia vowed to turn Somalia into a religious state on Tuesday, pushing north to take more territory after winning a three-month battle for Mogadishu.

But thousands of Mogadishu residents protested against the takeover and defeated warlords said they would fight back. Clan elders warned the Islamic side against more advances.

Fighters loyal to Sharia courts seized the lawless capital Monday from a self-styled anti-terrorism coalition of warlords widely believed to be backed by Washington.

President George W. Bush said he was watching the instability in Somalia carefully and wanted to make sure the country did not become a safe haven for al Qaeda.

"Obviously when there's instability anywhere in the world we're concerned. There is instability in Somalia," Bush said during a trip to Texas.

"First concern of course would be to make sure that Somalia does not become an al Qaeda safe haven, doesn't become a place from which terrorists plot and plan. So we're watching very carefully developments there," he said.

Some 350 people, mostly civilians, have died since February in fighting for Mogadishu interspersed by tense lulls. The United Nations says about 1,500 civilians were wounded in the close-quarter battles using mortars and anti-aircraft guns.

It was the first time the warlords had been dislodged from Mogadishu since ousting former ruler Mohamed Siyad Barre in 1991.

"Until we get the Islamic state, we will continue with the Islamic struggle in Somalia," Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, chairman of Mogadishu Islamic courts, told a rally of hundreds.

"This is a long Islamic struggle and it will continue until the whole country comes under Sharia law," Fuad Ahmed, a militiaman loyal to the Islamic side, told Reuters. "We are ready to shed our blood in order for that struggle to succeed."

Supporters of the warlord coalition packed the shattered Benadir stadium in northern Mogadishu at a counter-rally.

"We have to continue fighting the terrorists in Mogadishu. We will remain in Mogadishu," warlord Bashir Raghe, who lost control of an airstrip and a port in March, told Reuters.

"The Islamic courts cannot dislodge us from here."

Warlord Muse Sudi Yalahow, who lost the strategic town of Balad on Sunday, was also at the rally.

Somalia's interim prime minister, Mohamed Ali Gedi, earlier congratulated the Islamic side on their victory over warlords who many Somalis believe tried to undermine the government.

"They were hurting reconciliation, stabilization and pacification of Somalia," Gedi told Radio France Internationale.

"All those forces who joined their efforts together were the pillars of the victory and the government has congratulated them," he said.

ISLAMIC SIDE PUSHES NORTH

The Islamic fighters advanced on Tuesday towards the warlord stronghold of Jowhar, about 90 km (56 miles) north of Mogadishu.

"Our forces are in the village of Qalimoy, 20 km south of Jowhar. We are just waiting for orders from our leaders to capture it," militia leader Siyad Mohamed, who is allied to the Islamic courts, told Reuters from Balad on the road to Jowhar.

Ali Nur, a warlord coalition militiaman, said clan elders threatened to mass militia against Islamic forces if they attacked Jowhar.

Nur said the Islamic side told the warlords to hand over weapons but their fighters were preparing an assault to regain lost Mogadishu strongholds, notably the Kilometer Four area.

But resident Fahran Gure said he did not expect violence.

"We feel there is a big change, peace is in the air, no gunshots can be heard. It is calm, businesses are fully operational. People are now moving freely everywhere."

Aid workers fear the violence may have exacerbated an existing humanitarian crisis in drought-hit Somalia. Some 400,000 displaced already live in squalid conditions across Somalia but scores had fled Mogadishu during fighting.

The United States has refused to discuss persistent reports it is covertly funneling $100,000 (54,000 pounds) a month to the warlords but has said it will work with anyone combating terrorism.

In Washington, U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the United States had serious concerns about the presence of "foreign terrorists" in Somalia where he said al Qaeda was active.

"We also have an interest, as well as the rest of the world, in combating the presence of foreign terrorists in that Horn of Africa region," said McCormack.

(Additional reporting by Steve Holland in Texas, Sue Pleming in Washington, Guled Mohamed in Nairobi)

Source: Reuters, June 6, 2006


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