Friday, June 16, 2006

Jihadists Continue to Make Gains in Somolia

Islamist militia, who control the Somali capital, Mogadishu, and other strategic towns, are seeking to expand their grip on Somalia by pushing northeast to the semiautonomous Puntland region, an official said.

Militias loyal to sharia courts ousted rival secular warlords from Mogadishu last week after battles that have killed 350 people since February.

They also seized the warlords' last stronghold of Jowhar, about 55 miles (90 kilometers) north, and appear to be flanking the weak interim government's base in nearby Baidoa in a rapid march across the Horn of Africa nation.

Militias backed by local clerics early Thursday surrounded Baladwayne, a government-allied town near the Ethiopian border -- in striking distance of Baidoa.
Dollars to donuts, al Qaeda and their acolytes will head towards Somolia, knowing that they'll have a safe haven in the making.

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