20 May 2009

Somalia: Islamists Fight Near Jowhar

Mogadishu — The Islamic Courts Union which supports the Somali government and al-Shabab fought near Jowhar, a key town in Middle Shabelle region 90 kilometers (55miles) north of Mogadishu, witnesses said on Tuesday.

Al-Shabab Islamists have captured Jowhar, a strategic town which the long road that connects Mogadishu and central Somalia passes.

Locals said the fighting started after al-Shabab fighters attacked a base of the Islamic Courts Union who were routed in recent fighting in Jowhar.

Reports said the two sides have used heavy machine guns in the fighting and no casualties have been reported since it was difficult to get any information from the fighting area.

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