Somalia: Car Bombs Are The New Peace Gesture

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September 20, 2006: While the Islamic Courts have eliminated much of the petty crime and extortion, they have not made everyone feel secure. The number of refugees fleeing to Kenya and Yemen is rising. The number of people fleeing is not great, perhaps a few thousand. And many of them are apparently connected with the warlords who have recently been displaced by the Islamic Courts. Meanwhile, the UN and AU are apparently not going to send 3,500 peacekeepers next month, as promised. At the same time, the recent bombing attack outside the transitional government parliament building certainly looked like the sort of thing al Qaeda would carry out. But the Islamic Courts have been playing down their support for Islamic terrorists.
September 19, 2006: The Islamic Courts are setting up a military training center to train young men for combat against an African Union (AU) peacekeeping force. While the transitional government wants the peacekeepers, the Islamic Courts do not.
September 18, 2006: Two bombs, both car bomb, were used in Baidoa in an attempt to kill the president of the transitional government. The president survived, but eleven died, including six attackers who opened up with assault rifles after the bomb went off. One of the bombs was detonated by remote control. the other was a suicide car bomb.
September 17, 2006: In Mogadishu, a 65 year old Italian nun, who had spent decades running a charity hospital, was shot to death. She was apparently killed by men angry at the pope, who had recently criticized Islam for being violent.
September 15, 2006: In Baidoa, the stronghold of the transitional government, about a hundred people staged a pro-Islamic Courts demonstration. The police dispersed it.
September 14, 2006: Over a hundred trucks full of Islamic Courts gunmen have been moving towards Kismayo, one of the last ports controlled by warlords. Kismayo is about 500 kilometers south of Mogadishu.

 

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