Somalia: Massing Forces For the Battle Of Mogadishu

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February 17, 2010: Both the Transitional Government and Islamic radicals are bringing more gunmen to Mogadishu, as both sides insist they will launch operations that will give them control. The Islamic radicals have been getting the worst of it lately, but neither side appears strong enough to chase the other out of the this city of over a million people. Meanwhile, the increasing number of police in Mogadishu are setting up more checkpoints, in an attempt to disrupt the growing number of car bombs being used by Islamic terrorists (particularly al Shabaab). So far this month, fighting in the city has killed nearly a hundred and forced over 8,000 more civilians to flee (mainly to ramshackle camps along the roads leading from the city.)

Foreign aid agencies are concentrating more of their efforts on helping the nearly 400,000 refugees living outside Mogadishu, especially along a 30 kilometer stretch of road west of the city. Foreign aid groups are increasingly harassed and threatened by the Islamic radical groups that dominate areas south of Mogadishu. There, over two million people are going hungry because the Islamic radicals block, or plunder, foreign food aid. Fortunately, the weather has been better in the last few months, and several hundred thousand people down south now have crops that can feed them.

The pirates are having a harder time taking vessels. The anti-piracy patrol seems to be everywhere, apparently the result of more maritime patrol aircraft and UAVs (that track pirate movements.)

February 15, 2010: A car bomb attack against the Defense Minister in Mogadishu killed several civilians, but missed its target.

February 13, 2010: The Minister of Sports died in a Saudi hospital, from injuries suffered in the December 3rd bombing at a medical school graduation in Mogadishu. Islamic terrorists were themselves so horrified at the results of that attack that they initially denied responsibility.

 

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