A suicide bomber killed six policemen and a civilian in
Abdifatah Shaweye, deputy governor of
“Four died on the spot, two others died of serious injuries, and one civilian (died),” a police commander, who asked not to be named, told Reuters.
An upsurge in violence this month has killed nearly 200 people in
Neighbouring states and Western governments fear
The chaos onshore has also allowed piracy to flourish off
Islamist insurgent group al Shabaab, which
“Abdikadir Mohamed Hasan of our Mujahideen carried out the suicide car bomb,” Sheik Husein Ali Fidow, a senior al Shabaab official told reporters in a news conference via phone.
“It was committed by a young
The United Nations says hundreds of foreign fighters have joined the rebels and an influential opposition leader told Reuters on Friday some Arabs had come to Somalia to wage holy war against the Western-backed government.
Security sources say the hardline Islamist insurgents have been planting more sophisticated roadside bombs in recent months and Iraq-style suicide attacks have become more frequent.
On Sunday morning, more
A young woman wearing a bright blue headscarf trudged along a dusty road with a bed mat and mattress strapped to her back and a cooking pot and kerosene lamp hanging from her arms. A woman clutching a plastic bag and a small suitcase followed.
“I call on the international community and the aid agencies to react very urgently to the worsening humanitarian situation in
The UN’s refugee agency said 57 000 people had fled
Since the start of 2007, fighting between Islamist insurgents and pro-government forces has killed at least 17,700 civilians and driven more than a million from their homes.
About 3 million Somalis survive on emergency food aid.
Even if government forces drive the rebels from
Residents in the southern Bakool region said Ethiopians in armoured vehicles and trucks had entered a town in
“We have not sent any troops into
Meanwhile, insurgents also fired mortar bombs at the presidential palace and attacked African Union peacekeepers on Saturday night.
“Opposition groups have attacked us with rocket-propelled grenades,” a senior Burundian officer told Reuters. “They are still firing at us and we shall defend ourselves.”
The African Union has some 4300 peacekeepers from
Islamist insurgents took up arms in 2007 to drive out Ethiopian troops propping up a Western-backed government which failed to wield control over much of
Since the start of 2007, fighting has killed at least 17 700 civilians and driven more than 1 million from their homes. About 3 million Somalis survive on emergency food aid.
The Ethiopians withdrew at the start of 2009 and Ahmed was elected president in neighbouring
The African Union (AU) stepped up pressure on
“(The United Nations Security Council should) impose sanctions against all those foreign actors, both within and outside the region, especially
Eritrean Information Minister Ahmed Ali Abdu told Reuters the Horn of Africa nation had recalled its ambassador to the African Union following the statement. He denied a media report saying the country had suspended its AU membership.
Until Friday, pro-government forces had not looked strong enough to break al Shabaab’s grip on parts of
Last week’s defection of a veteran warlord with hundreds of fighters may have prompted Ahmed to order the new offensive.
But experts say pro-government forces would be hard-pushed to extend their reach to distant provinces, increasing the risk of protracted fighting in a country that has known little but violence and anarchy since its dictator was ousted in 1991.
An important figure in any reconciliation would be hardline opposition leader Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, who ran
But he told Reuters on Friday that fighting the Western-backed government was a religious obligation and that the opposition forces would defeat the administration soon.