Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search

Terrorism & Security

Somalia violence flares in the wake of U.S. airstrike

Mogadishu's recent outbreak of violence appeared linked to a May airstrike that killed Hashi Aden Ayro, a Somali Islamist leader who the US says has links to Al Qaeda.

By David Montero / May 21, 2008

Somalia was racked by violence Tuesday, as suspected Islamist insurgents killed government soldiers and seized territories throughout the capital, Mogadishu, in a backlash against a US missile strike earlier this month that killed a leader who the US says had links to Al Qaeda. Further highlighting the deteriorating law-and-order situation, two foreign aid workers were kidnapped at gunpoint from the capital.

Skip to next paragraph

Recent posts

The incidents came just a week after peace talks sponsored by the United Nations failed to produce an agreement between Islamist forces and the Somalian government.

Agence France-Press reports that at least 10 people were killed in violence yesterday.

Islamic extremist insurgent attacks killed at least 10 people Tuesday in and around the Somali capital Mogadishu, witnesses and officials told AFP.
Three government soldiers and two civilians died when insurgents armed with machine guns and rockets ambushed a checkpoint manned by Somali soldiers around 15 kilometres (nine miles) south of Mogadishu…
In a separate incident, a joint Somali and Ethiopian patrol was struck by a roadside bomb blast near a former military academy in southern Mogadishu.

Violence has been growing in Somalia since 2006, when neighboring Ethiopia, with support from Washington, launched a military operation inside Somalia to oust an Islamist movement that had seized control of the capital and other cities, Voice of America reports.

Islamist insurgents launch almost-daily attacks on Somali government forces and allied Ethiopian troops. More than a year of fighting has killed thousands of Somalis and displaced hundreds of thousands more, mostly from Mogadishu.

The Islamists are trying to create a fundamentalist state, and there is barely any educated class to work against them, writes Mark Bowden, author of "Black Hawk Down," in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

[The] Islamist radicals ... care about society as a whole, but only insofar as they can shape it to their own zealous ends. They impose their harsh interpretation of sharia, or Muslim law...
One of the things Somalia lacks is a capable, homegrown movement of educated, determined nationalists capable of fending off the religious radicals, disarming and controlling the warlords, and standing up for the interests of people who just want a stable, civil society.

Read Comments

View reader comments | Comment on this story