Somali Islamists vow more attacks during Ramadan

An Islamist militia commander said on Monday his fighters will intensify attacks against the government and Ethiopian forces, even during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Yusuf Mohamed Siad—allied to hard-line cleric Hassan Dahir Aweys who is designated as a terrorist by the United States—said the fighting is “in compliance with the guidance of our Prophet Muhammad.

“We will double our attacks against the Ethiopians and their Somali government stooges even during the month of Ramadan, until we root out the enemy of Allah from the country,” he told reporters in Mogadishu.

Since their movement was ousted by a joint Ethiopia-Somali forces in early 2007, Islamist militias have waged a deadly insurgency against their rivals mainly in the capital.

The hard-line Islamists have rejected a United Nations-sponsored truce.

Civilians have borne the heaviest brunt of the violence and at least 6 000 have died in the past year alone, many in Mogadishu.

Somalia has lacked an effective government since the 1991 ouster of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre, sparking a deadly power struggle that has defied numerous bids to restore stability in the Horn of Africa nation.—AFP

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