Somalian Civil war Continued, 30 people died
New Delhi: Civil war in Somalia are continuied. In the current fightinting a pro-government militia fought off Islamist insurgents who tried to capture a central Somali town, with around 30 people killed in hours of intense fighting, residents and the group said yesterday. Bodies lay in the streets of the central town of Dhusamareb after fighters from the hardline Al-Qaeda-inspired Shebab group launched a surprise attack at dawn on Saturday, they said. “The town is quiet at the moment and the Shebab fighters have been defeated in violent fighting during the night,” the area’s traditional chief, Abdulahi Gedi, said.
The Ahlu Sunna Wal Jammaa group, which is allied to the Somali government, had fought off the attack and was in control, he said. “We have sent two teams to fetch bodies on the streets inside and outside of the town. They have told us that the number of dead has reached 31 while 70 people were wounded in the fighting,” he said. Residents had said on Saturday that at least 11 people had been killed.
Doctor Abdikarim Nurs said that 30 wounded civilians were admitted to his health centre since Saturday. “The fighting was the most violent ever seen in Dhusamareb,” resident Hussein Moalim Mahad said. “The two sides fought each other for control of the town but eventually the Ahlu Sunna took the upper hand.”
A spokesman for the Ahlu Sunna militia, a moderate Islamic outfit that has taken up arms against more radical groups, also claimed victory. “With the help of Allah, we have defeated the enemies of our religion who have been trained by foreigners. There are many of their bodies in the streets and we are getting ready to bury them,” Yussuf Al-Qadi said.
The two groups also fought each other for control of Dhusamareb, near the border with Ethiopia, at the beginning of 2009. The Shebab control large swathes of southern and central Somalia and has wrested control of much of the capital Mogadishu, where it has relentlessly attacked government and African Union forces. The Ahlu Sunna was founded in 1991 to promote moderate Sufi Islam in Somalia. It renounced a posture of non-violence in early 2009 to take on the radical Shebab and their allies from the Hizb al-Islam movement. The Ahlu Sunna does not fully recognise Somali President Sherif Sheikh Ahmed’s transitional government but it too wants to rid Somalia of the Shebab and its Al-Qaeda inspired ideology.
Somalia has been in civil war since 1991. The clashes were the first in the town since Dec. 2008 when the Ahlu Sunna took it after ousting al Shabaab fighters. The town is the capital of the central region of Galgadud, coveted by al Shabaab, who would like to extend their area of control between Mogadishu and the pro-government northeast region of Puntland. Ahlu Sunna’s spokesman said they had regained the town after losing it briefly to al Shabaab on Saturday. “Our forces are in full control of the town now. We have chased them away from here yesterday. Their dead bodies packed the streets. We will surely pursue them in the other towns they went to,” Sheikh Abdullahi Sheikh Abu Yusuf, said. Another resident said the presence of Ahlu Sunna’s fighters on the streets of the town was not wholly re-assuring. “We are afraid al Shabaab will attack again here. We are civilians, our sole power is to flee,” Abdullahi Bile said.