Mogadishu – Somali militiamen on Wednesday began building a mosque over an Italian colonial-era cemetery where they prompted outrage by unearthing hundreds of skeletons last week.
The militia, allied with Mogadishu’s Islamic courts, brought in construction workers and building materials, and encouraged area residents to come to the site to pray, residents said.
“We are not ready to pray at the location of dead bodies that human beings are harming,” resident Abdinasir Hussien said.
The militia dug up hundreds of corpses last week and threw them into a dump near a Mogadishu airport, drawing a strongly worded protest from the Italian government and from residents of the Somali capital….
Some analysts have speculated that the exhumations were a mesage of opposition to the new government, which has warm relations with Rome and is disliked by the Muslim militants who control the courts.
Most of those disinterred were former Italian colonial officials and soldiers.