For the last week, al Shabaab has launched daily attacks in Mogadishu, using gunmen and mortars. As a result there are 50-100 casualties on some days, most of them civilians caught in the crossfire. In the last three years, since al Shabaab, and other Islamic radical groups began their attempts to conquer the country, over 20,000 have died and 1.5 million people have become refugees. Somalia has become the most violent and lawless place on the planet. While this has generally aided the pirates operating off the north coast, the major seafaring nations have organized an anti-piracy force that has increasingly hindered the pirates. The use of warships and aircraft, and new tactics (emphasizing more aircraft patrols and preemptive attacks on mother ships) has sharply reduced the attacks this year.
Although there are a lot of weapons coming into the country, there are not enough meet demand. Thus the prices have more than tripled in the last few months. Ethiopia has been supplying Sufi militias, who often operate near the Ethiopian border. The U.S. and EU have been supplying the TG, while Iran, via Eritrea, has been supplying the Islamic radical militias. The TG troops are the most lavishly equipped, and many of these soldiers desert and sell their weapons on the open market. But there are more people seeking arms. Iran has an easier time getting cash to al Shabaab and Hizbul Islam (because of Israeli attacks on Iranian arms ships and pressure on Eritrea to halt this gunrunning). So Islamic radicals tends to be the biggest customer for weapons from TG deserters.
Kenya keeps moving more troops and police to their Somali border, as Islamic radical militias, and bandits, on the other side continue to get more aggressive.
June 9, 2010: A roadside bomb went off in Mogadishu, killing at least twelve and wounded over twenty. Most of these casualties were civilians, although the target was Transitional Government (TG) soldiers (five of whom died).
June 8, 2010: In central Somalia, 320 kilometers north of Mogadishu, hundreds of al Shabaab gunmen were defeated after they attacked the Sufi controlled villages of Dhusamareb and Marergur. The al Shabaab fighters were forced to retreat, abandoning many weapons, vehicles and large quantities of ammunition. The Sufi militias, who are allied with the TG, were seen celebrating.
Three ministers of the Transitional Government have resigned, further paralyzing the fragile coalition. Cooperation is not a popular practice in Somalia.