Garowe Online (Garowe)

2 May 2009

Somalia: Presidential Security Forces 'Sell Armed Trucks' to Al Shabaab

Somali government security forces aboard four armed trucks escaped from the Villa Somalia presidential compound on Friday with the goal of selling their weaponry to Islamist hardliners, Radio Garowe reports.

A security official at Villa Somalia who spoke on the condition of anonymity confirmed the report that the soldiers belonged to the Villa Somalia security force, guarding the palace where President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed calls home alongside African Union peacekeepers.

"The soldiers made a secret deal with Al Shabaab to sell four trucks and the big guns on top," said the security source.

A businessman at Mogadishu's Bakara Market said armed trucks with government insignia were seen around the market, which has been a stronghold of Islamist rebels since the Ethiopian intervention.

A government spokesman could not be reached for comment.

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