Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Somalia: Al-Shabab close to 'controlling entire south'


Mogadishu, 30 June (AKI) -Al-Shabab, the Somalia Al-Qaeda affiliated militant group, says it is close to the presidential palace in capital Mogadishu which will allow it to control the southern part of the country.

In a 10-minute video obtained exclusively by Adnkronos International labelled "The African Crusaders" (www.adnkronos.com/AKI/Italiano/hp.), Al-Shabab refers to troops from the African Union, primarily in Mogadishu to defend the airport, as "crusaders."

A voice speaking English with an American accent describes the video's images of destroyed tanks and other military vehicles, praising Al-Shabab's successes.

Somali government troops and hardline rebels have for months been locked in conflict in strategic locations in and around the Somali capital.

A government security official this week admitted to retreating following a fresh Al-Shabab offensive but denied that the militants had made any significant gains.

Using the video as propaganda to demonstrate the perceived weakness of transitional president Ahmad Shari, the insurgents show images of destroyed buildings and gun battles that happened in the lastest offensive.

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