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Somalia offensive….300 new militants in Mogadishu! July 28, 2011

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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Heavy fighting broke out in Mogadishu on Thursday.  Al-Shabab, Somalia’s dominant militant group, has sent 300 reinforcement fighters to Mogadishu in recent days, said Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda, spokesman for the African Union peacekeeping force.

The African Union force believes that al-Shabab is trying to prevent aid from reaching the tens of thousands of famine refugees who have arrived in Mogadishu this month.

The al-Shabab militants already have killed men who tried to escape the famine with their families, saying it is better to starve than accept help from the West. The World for Food Program says it cannot reach 2.2 million people in need of aid in the militant-controlled areas in southern Somalia because of insecurity.

Somalia has been mired in conflict since 1991 when long time dictator Siad Barre was overthrown by warlords who then turned on each other. Islamist militants led by al-Shabab are attempting to overthrow the weak U.N.-backed government that is being propped up by about 9,000 AU peacekeepers from Uganda and Burundi.

The hopelessness that young Somali men are experiencing will only make piracy a more enticing proposition that will ultimately lead to more attacks and greater ships being hijacked.

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