Monday, December 20, 2010

Somalia: Al-Shabaab and Hizbul Islam rebel groups plan merger

The two main rebel movements in Somalia have said they plan to merge to defeat the weak, UN-backed government, according to a senior official from one of the groups.

Sheik Mohamed Osman Arus, the Islamic Party’s head of operations, told The Associated Press news agency that his militia will join forces with the al-Qaeda linked al-Shabaab group and fight under al-Shabaab’s name.

Fighters from the Islamic Party have been defeated several times by al-Shabaab, including a battle to control the port city of Kismayo, one of the largest cities in the country, and now a major base for al-Shabaab.

Arus however denied the merger was a face-saving tactic for his group, saying the planned union is “a bonus for the Mujahideen and a bane to the invaders and mercenaries”.

The News:
http://english.aljaz … 219202047178447.html