Tags: Islamist | rivals | Somali | town

Islamist Rivals Fight Over Somali Town

Monday, 04 January 2010 10:49 AM

MOGADISHU, Somalia — Shabab rebels, who control most of Somalia with allied Islamist groups, on Saturday attacked a town lost to moderate Islamists about a year ago.

It appeared late Saturday that the moderate Islamists had kept control of the town, Dusa Marreb, in central Somalia, although the Shabab earlier claimed victory. The battles killed 10 people, witnesses said.

The two groups have been fighting each other elsewhere in Somalia for months. The group that had been controlling Dusa Marreb, Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama, had chased out the Shabab in December 2008 and vowed to challenge the Shabab in other areas to “restore stability and harmony in Somalia and achieve a genuine government of national unity.”

Residents of the town say they evacuated it when they heard gunfire early Saturday morning.

“I and my children immediately fled outside the town,” Khadiija Ali said. “I was preparing breakfast for my family, when the bullet sound shocked me. We were not expecting such fight.”

The assault came a day after the Shabab, which have increasing ties with Al Qaeda, tried to attract international media attention by vowing to send fighters to help insurgents in Yemen.

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Monday, 04 January 2010 10:49 AM
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