Islamic Courts claims Somali gains

Islamic Courts Union takes control of several towns, including Jawhar.

    More than 110 Somalis have died in last week's fightings in Mogadishu and other towns [EPA] 


    More than 110 Somalis have died in the last week, both from fighting in Mogadishu and brief ICU seizures of Jawhar and other towns.

     

    "We arrived and secured the town," said Abdirahim Isa Adow, a spokesman for the ICU. "It is not in our plans to remain in Jawhar."

     

    Their return comes amid fears that towns like Jawhar may be vulnerable to theft and looting by local clan militias after Somali security forces left.

     

    'More radical'


    The ICU fighters have carried out relentless attacks against the Ethiopia-backed government forces since their movement was toppled in early 2007.

    Many of their members were forced to flee the country, but those who stayed are said to be younger and more radical.

    They oppose all foreign presence in Somalia and have vowed to overthrow the current government which they view as a stooge of  outside powers.

      

    The clashes killed some 6,500 people last year, according to a rights group.

     

    Somalia has suffered seemingly endless violence after the ousting of President Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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