13 December 2006

Somalia: Islamist Fighters Grab a Fresh Settlement

Mogadishu — Forces loyal to Islamic Courts headquartered in the Somali capital Mogadishu have grabbed Ufurow settlement that was one of the few settlements under the weak government's control. Ufurow is 90 km southwest of the government base of Baidoa.

Religious people in Ufurow confirmed to Shabelle by telephone that Islamic Courts fighters have attained the settlement without resistance. Sheik Mohammed Ahmed Moalim told Shabelle by telephone that Islamist fighters led by him have seized Ufurow on Wednesday.

"These forces are only a lead up to other forces that will come in days. We were well received in Ufurow," he said.

He said they would introduce the Islamic Shareh in the area, alleging the residents would welcome the Islamic law.

The Islamic Courts fighters and government forces are less than 20 km away from each other around Bur Hakaba, south of Baidoa. The Islamic Courts forces seem to besieging Baidoa, the only town in the hand of the government from every direction of south and south west of the town.

The Somali government could not be reached for comments about the seizure of the new town

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