Ethiopian News and Views.

Al-Shabaab guerrillas organizing near Ethiopian border, says governor

Posted 1st December 2007

BAIDOA, Somalia Nov 30 (Garowe Online) – The governor of a region in southwestern Somalia said on Friday that Al-Shabaab militants are organizing themselves and preparing for attacks on government targets in his region.

Mohamed Abdi “Tall,” the governor Bakool region adjacent to the Ethiopian border, said intelligence reports have indicated that well-armed guerrilla fighters are regrouping in Abalow village, a remote area etched between Bakool and Bay regions.

Senior Islamic Courts defense officials are among the fighters being organized in the village, according to the governor.

The governor’s claim could not be independently verified.

Unconfirmed reports said the Islamists’ former deputy defense chief, Mukhtaar Abu Mansur Robow, was among guerrillas reported to be in Bakool region.

Abu Mansur is now spokesman for the Al-Shabaab fighters, the military wing of the Islamic Courts movement that began a bloody insurgency in January after Ethiopian troops backing the interim Somali government captured the capital, Mogadishu.

Bakool Governor Mohamed Tall said his weak administration lacks the resources to challenge the Al-Shabaab fighters and expel them from the region.

Military sources in Baidoa tell Garowe Online that extra Somali and Ethiopian troops have been stationed at new locations throughout Bay region, a precaution aimed at disrupting the insurgents’ logistics.

The interim government has struggled to cope with a string of bombings, assassinations and ambushes since the Ethiopian army rolled into Mogadishu.

Source: Garowe Online

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