Posts by Mohamed Ahmed

Foriegn Fighters Lead The Training In Marka
03/14/2011
Women In Al Shabaab Training Camp
©Somalia Report
Women In Al Shabaab Training Camp

Mogadishu — In Marka, a coastal town which lies 90km south of Mogadishu, approximately seventy women who went into a training program at Al Shabaab military camp are now being trained as suicide bombers, according to a local resident who spoke to Somalia Report on the condition of anonymity.

The camp, known locally as Alhayaa (The Life), had already trained hundreds of its fighters and is recognized the most productive camp in the southern region after Kamboni training camp in the Lower Jubba region.

The camp, which under the command of senior Mujahidin (foreign fighters), had also been giving out Jihadist scriptures to some women identified as university scholars and Al-shabab preachers. Local residents, who requested anonymity, said that Al-Shabab’s “governor” in Lower Shabelle Region, Sheikh Muhammad ala Abu Abdala, spoke in a mosque in Marka last Friday encouraged women to come to the training post so as to take part new phase of the war. “Women have been vital for any war in the past,” he said

Sheikh Ali Mohamoud Rage, Al Shabaab spokesman, has called for the groups’ fighters to redouble in order to fight what he called the "invading African Christians and their apostate government."

TFG and Al Shabaab Both Claim Victory
03/15/2011
Pro Government Fighter Killed In Gedo
©Somalia Report
Pro Government Fighter Killed In Gedo

Beled Hawa — Pro Somali transitional federal government militias and several hundred Al Shabaab fighters claimed victory over day long fighting in the mountainous village of Busar about 40 kms east of Elwak district, and skirmishes the town of Beled Hawa in the southern Somalia region of Gedo.

Government and Ahlu Sunna Waljameca (ASWJ) fighters attacked Alshabab's camp in the village of Busar at least three times yesterday, local resident told Somalia Report.

“It was the heaviest fighting ever witnessed, they used everything, and we are all frightened and currently hiding in the bush” he said.

He added that at this time of drought in the region water sources available for the displaced are scarce.

Busar is a strategic area; the village had been a hiding place for the tribal militias since the collapse of Somali government in 1991.

Residents in nearby villages told Somalia Report that more than 15 fighters from both sides were killed but exact figures are unknown.

Al Shabaab provincial head, Sheikh Abas, told a local FM station that the group gained the upper hand” thanks to Allah, "we chased those pro infidels trained in Kenya with their trousers and guns hanging down, the Mujahidin have got the victory,” he said.

“We won’t let them stay in an Islamic district like Elwak, we are going to disseminate and cut their throats so as Mujahidin did previously,” Mr Abas added.

On the other hand Beled Hawa, which in the control of pro government TFF forces and Ahlusunna, came was ambushed by Alshabab fighters last night.

Local residents told Somalia Report that a group of Al Shabab fighters who sneaked into the town opened fire while throwing grenades at pro government soldiers stationed near a Kenyan border post. Mr. Shariff Abduwahid, spokesperson for ASWJ, told Somalia Report on the phone that there were no casualties sustained by their forces, ”it was like a just a minute or two ambush, nothing else, the town is now stable as we have taken measures to tighten security in the area."

However, Mandera and Beled Hawa, are highly volatile and repeatedly face a rise in insurgents, according to a March 3 report by the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, resulting in thousands of residents to flee to neighboring villages and across the border.

03/15/2011
Mandera
©Somalia Report
Mandera

Mandera – Beled Hawa: Kenyan Security Forces sent to patrol the unstable Somali border stopped the trade of commercial commodities and personal belongings from the neighboring district of Beled Hawa to the Kenyan border town of Mandera despite the fact that the town is under control to pro government militias. The move came after North Eastern Police Chief Leo Nyongesa told local media that appropriate security measures had been put in place due to the recent clashes between Somali Forces and Al Shabaab insurgents. Kenyan border guards and military personnel were put on high alert as a result.

Border Region
©Somalia Report
Border Region
Amina Abdi, a Kenyan businesswoman, told Somalia Report that all commodities are stranded at the Somalia frontier, including household belongings, food and clothing. She urged the Kenyan government to allow cross border business to return to normal. “We don’t know why the police refused to pass commercial goods from Somalia, it will only worsen the poor livelihoods of our people stricken by drought,” she added.

Food and other commodity prices have risen ever since clashes broke at the border district of Beled Hawa, which shares deep business ties with the remote Kenyan district of Mandera and other surrounding villages. Also provoking this move might be the fact that last week, Kenyan police produced names of 11 Kenyans whom they said are Al Shabaab agents sent to terrorize western interests in the country.

Exclusive
Sheikh Fanah Gulet Urgers Fighters To Take Control Of Southern Region
03/16/2011
Sheikh Fanah Gulet
A high ranking Al Shabaab Gedo Regional Officer has vowed that the group will wage waves of brief hit and run attacks against what he called 'the pro Ethiopia and Kenya servants' (the pro government militias trained in neighboring countries), in an exclusive interview with Somalia Report.

Sheikh Fanah Gulet urged Mujaheddin fighters to retake control of the towns around the border areas where pro-government forces ousted the Al Shabaab administration on February 24th of this year.

“The Mujahidin in Bakool, Bay, Gedo and Jubba regions come for the last waves of guerrilla attack against American and Ethiopian backed infidels,” he said.

He urged them to shed more blood so as to frighten the conquerors.

“I am sure that we shall get the upper hand in the name of God. We shall retake Belet Hawa, Luk, and Elwak in the Gedo region,” he concluded.

The call comes after fierce clashes between the pro-government soldiers and Al Shabaab fighters in which Al Shabaab lost a number of significant towns.

The rebels, who made several impressive successful hit and run guerrilla style attacks during Ethiopia's presence in the country in 2007, have been engaged in a four-year insurgency to topple the U.N backed interim government in Mogadishu.

Al Shabaab Retreats To Bardera, TFG Forces On The Way There
03/16/2011
Gedo's Embattled Area
©Somalia Report
Gedo's Embattled Area
Elwak — Somalia's pro-government forces claimed to have advanced and taken several villages under the control of Al Shabaab in the western areas of Gedo region of southern Somalia, an official said today.

Ahmed Mohmud Hajji Arab, who spoke for the government, said in an interview with Somalia Report that Al Shabaab retreated back to Bardera, a town in the heart of three regions Gedo, Bay and Middle Jubba.

The official claimed to have murdered scores of Al Shabaab fighters in the villages of Busar and Asha Ad about 40-50km east of Elwak district. “We launched at different times counterattacks at one of their strongest bases in the region and inflicted them with irretrievable losses which forced them to retreat," he said

Mr. Hajji Arab vowed that the pro-government militias will keep fighting against what he called the radical extremists until the TFG controls the whole region.

Ever since the fighting escalated in those areas, thousands of local residents and pastoralists have been fleeing to the safer villages nearby like Fafahdun, Darisalam and Geriley around the border with Kenya.

No accountable reports confirm the exact number of casualties sustained by the warring groups, but a local journalist in Bardera about 150kms away from the warzone who spoke on condition of anonymity told Somalia Report that more than 13 Al Shabaab fighters who were wounded have been taken to a near by village called Juungal.

An Al Shabaab official contacted by Somalia Report refused to comment the casualties, but said their fighters have taken the control of embattled villages.

Both sides used heavy artillery and light weapons including AK 47 rifles during the battle as gunfire could be heard around the surrounding villages.

Local reports indicate that tensions are mounting in Bardera where the pro-government militias vowed to attack in the coming hours.