Wire: Islamist Insurgents Vow Revenge After US Raid in Somalia
Off the Wire:
WASHINGTON, Sept. 15 2009 -- Newswire services this morning reported that a U.S. raid killed one of Africa's most wanted al-Qaida suspects sought in connection with a deadly hotel bombing, and Somalia's powerful insurgent group vowed Tuesday to avenge the American attack.
Two senior members of al-Shabab, who spoke to the anonymously to The Associated Press, said their fighters will retaliate for the raid that killed Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan on Monday.
The Associated Press reported that the commando-style action took place in a village near Barawe amid growing fears that al-Qaida is gaining a foothold in this lawless nation.
AP noted the following details yesterday:
Many experts fear Somalia is becoming a haven for al-Qaida, a place for terrorists to train and gather strength — much like Afghanistan in the 1990s. The U.N.-backed government, with support from African Union peacekeepers, holds only a few blocks of Mogadishu, the war-ravaged capital.Somalia's lawlessness also has allowed piracy to flourish off its coast, making the Gulf of Aden one of the most dangerous waterways in the world, AP noted.
Last year, U.S. missiles killed reputed al-Qaida commander Aden Hashi Ayro -- the first major success after a string of U.S. military attacks in 2008.
Like much of Somalia, Barawe and its surrounding villages are controlled by the militant group al-Shabab, which the U.S. accuses of having ties to al-Qaida. Al-Shabab, which has foreign fighters in its ranks, seeks to overthrow the government and impose a strict form of Islam in Somalia.
Witness Abdi Ahmed said six helicopters buzzed the village before two of the aircraft opened fire. After the helicopters fired, soldiers in military fatigues got out and left with the two wounded men.
(Report from newswire sources.)
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