1 June 2008

Somalia: Islamists Warn Residents Not to Work with Government in Central Town

Union of Islamic Courts has circulated leaflets in Beled Weyne town in Hiiraan Region, central Somalia, warning locals against working and collaborating with the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia TFG and the Ethiopian troops, as well as the district and the regional administrations.

UIC warned that they would hunt down any one suspected of involvement with government officials in the region.

The Islamists urged locals to reject TFG but instead join them, saying that they were better than the current government.

UIC vowed to double attacks against Ethiopian troops in the region.

This is the second time that UIC had circulated leaflets in the town.

Insecurity has engulfed parts of Hiiraan region in recent months as UIC fighters try to establish a stronghold in the area.

Beledweyne (Somali: Beledweyne) is a city in central Somalia. It is the capital of the Hiraan province, and is located in the central valley of the Shebelle River near the border with Ethiopia, some 206 miles (332 km) north of the capital Mogadishu.

Straddling a meander of the river, it consists of four main districts called: October (Bundoweyn), Howlwadag, Kooshin and Hawotako. The Shabelle River divides the town into east and west.

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