From: Berhane Habtemariam (Berhane.Habtemariam@gmx.de)
Date: Tue Dec 02 2008 - 07:40:30 EST
Somali fighters seize strategic town
Mon, 01 Dec 2008 19:27:11 GMT
Al-Shabaab fighters. The fighters have increased their conquests in Somalia raising fears of their possible attack Mogadishu.
Al-Shabaab fighters affiliated with the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) have led a successful inroad into a south-central Somali town.
On Sunday, the government soldiers withdrew from the town of Deynuunay in the Bay region following fierce clashes with Al-Shabaab fighters, Press TV's Somalia correspondent reported.
A spokesman for the UIC, Abdi Rahim Isse Addow, hailed the seizure as a UIC exploit while giving assurances to the locals that the fighters would provide the desired security.
Deynuunay is situated some 20 km (12 miles) outside Baidoa, the seat of the Somali Parliament.
The capture has increased the fears of a possible attack on the capital, Mogadishu while the transitional government's stability is plunging.
Meanwhile, a top Al-Shabaab officer reiterated the militia's opposition to compromise with the administration and foreign assistance aimed at stabilizing the violence-ridden country.
"The war we are waging against foreign troops will never stop until they pull out of our country. I urge the Mujahidin forces to intensify their attacks," Sheikh Sultan Muhammad said.
Violence has become rampant in the country since 1991 when the former dictator president Muhammad Siad Barre was removed from power under pressure from the warlords.
The indecision among the government leaders as well as runaway insurgency has been cited as the root causes of the instability in Somalia.
US shipping line confirms pirate attack
Tue, 02 Dec 2008 06:12:48 GMT
The mid-size ship was sailing from Safaga, Egypt to Salah, Oman when it was attacked in the Gulf of Aden.
US shipping company, Oceania Cruises, has confirmed that its cruise ship has been attacked by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden.
The Nautica was patrolled by international anti-piracy task forces on Sunday when it was approached by two skiffs 'deemed potentially hostile,' the Miami based company said in a statement.
"The skiffs, approaching from a range of approximately 1000 meters, attempted to intercept the vessel's course," the company's website read.
The statement adds that the six-star ship 'was immediately brought to flank speed and was able to out run the two skiffs'.
One of the skiffs, however, did manage to close the range to approximately 300 yards and fire eight shots at the vessel before trailing off.
The company says all of the 690 passengers and 386 crew remain unharmed and no damage was sustained.
Russian, NATO and European armadas in the area have so far failed to provide protection for vessels passing the strategic waterway.
The brazen pirates have attacked almost 100 vessels off the coast of Somalia this year. They include Iranian chartered, Delight captured two weeks ago with 25 crew and 36,000 tons of wheat on board.
Iran has warned that it may resort to force to free Iranian hostages and a ship hijacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia.
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