Gun battles in Mogadishu
intensified over the last three days as government forces began attacking
neighborhoods controlled by the clans loyal to the Islamic Courts. A few dozen
gunmen are causing most of the mayhem, as they make a daily mortar attack,
followed by a brief gun battle. The attackers wear masks, because if they were
identified, they could be later found and arrested. However, it's no secret
which clans are supporting the attackers, and its feared that the Ugandan
peacekeepers and their armored vehicles will soon be showing up in the
neighborhoods of the clans supporting the Islamic Courts, and the recent
violence. Such a confrontation would leave the neighborhood in ruins, and the
March 22, 2007: The government has ordered al
Jazeera out of the country and closed two pro-Islamic Courts radio stations.
All three media outlets were accused of encouraging violence against the
government. Most of the violence is in the capital, Mogadishu, is being created
by a few dozen gunmen loyal to the Islamic Courts. These media outlets have
been pushing reports that the gun and mortar attacks in the capital are being
directed by an al Qaeda member, working for the Islamic Courts. But the stories
are presented in such a way that the Islamic Courts gunmen come off like
March 21, 2007: Islamic Courts gunmen fought
with Transitional Government forces in Mogadishu, leaving nearly twenty dead,
half of them gunmen or soldiers. The Islamic Courts took videos of bodies being
mutilated and desecrated, and passed the media and Internet.
March 20, 2007: The daily mortar attacks
continue, but the accuracy is so poor that nearly all the victims are civilians.
The UN peacekeepers armored vehicles arrived by sea at the capital, and were
March 18, 2007: While the gun battles between
clan militias and peacekeepers gets most of the headlines, disease is killing
more people. The guns and mortars kill about a dozen people a day, at most. But
there's an outbreak of cholera in southern Somalia, that's killing twenty or
more people a day. There are other killer diseases going around, but they do it
silently, making for very unattractive photo opportunities.