30 March 2010

Somalia: Al-Shabaab Prepares Fighters for War in Central Region

Somali militant factions are preparing for heavy confrontation over control of towns in central Somalia where the groups have strong presence.

The two, Islamist militant group of Al-Shabaab and local clan based Ahlul-Sunnah Wal-Jamaa for the last few weeks have been building up armies in central Somali region of Galgadud, causing panic among residents in the region.

Al-Shabaab has reportedly warned that it will recapture the strategic towns in central Somalia which it lost to Ahlul-Sunnah Wal-Jamaa over the past years, by use of force.

On Monday Al-Shabaab has reportedly sent at least 2000 fighters with armory vehicles to the central towns including Dhusamareb which is currently under the control of Ahlul-Sunnah Wal-jamaa.

"Our aim this time round is to either capture Galgadud or forget about it. We sent more than 2000 well trained fighters," said an Al-Shabaab official who requested anonymity.

Dhusamareb was the stronghold of Al-Shabaab and it's the town that witnessed the killing of Shabaab's founder Sheikh Aden Hashi Ayro by US propelled missile on May 2008.

Residents in the region have raised concerns over possible bloodshed, worst than last year's battle between the two groups which left scores of people dead.

Al-Shabaab controls most parts of the southern Somalia including former Somalia's parliament seat, Baidoa but the lost of the two towns was astonishing blow that forced it to tighten its territories.

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