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Al-Shabab commander speaks to Al Jazeera

Commander says Somali-based group is taking orders from al-Qaeda in "conflict against international Christian crusade".

Last Modified: 23 Sep 2013 20:39
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A military commander of al-Shabab, giving his name as Abu Omar, has told Al Jazeera from Somalia that the group does not want any negotiations with the Kenyan government over the siege of a mall in Nairobi.

"What the Kenyan government needs to understand, first of all … al-Shabab forces did not mobilise forces against the Kenyan government. We did not invade their territory," he said.

"In fact Kenyans were living quite safely until they invaded our country."

Al-Shabab is demanding that Kenya withdraw troops from Somalia, where the group is fighting against the government.

"What is even more startling is that the so-called international community - the UN, and all these proxy states in the region - they are all in full support of the actions of the Kenyan government when they invaded Somalia."

Al-Shabab and al-Qaeda announced their alliance in in February 2012, and Abu Omar confirmed that his group is taking orders from al-Qaeda.

"Al-Qaeda are our leaders, they are our mentors, they are our leaders …and we are all engaged in a single conflict against an international Christian crusade and so we are partners in this," he said.

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Al Jazeera
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