Somali Jihad Update. “Somali Islamists declare war on ‘infidels’, tension mounts,” from AFP, with thanks to Twostellas:
Islamists holding much of the lawless Somali capital declared war on “infidels”, raising fears of new clashes between their militia and a battered US-backed warlord alliance.
With the two sides locked in a tense standoff outside the alliance’s last remaining stronghold north of the city, and holdout warlords refusing to accept Islamic control of Mogadishu, elders frantically appealed for peace.
Yet the Islamists and members of the Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism (ARPCT) showed no signs of backing down from positions that led to four months of battles in the capital, leaving hundreds dead.
Mogadishu’s most senior Muslim cleric, Sheikh Nur Barud, called on Somalis to crush secular resistance to the imposition of Sharia law and to reject warlord efforts to garner support by appealing to clan and tribal loyalties.
“All Somalis must defend the Islamic courts because this is not inter-clan fighting, but war with the infidels,” he said in an address aired by local radio stations.
“We are against those who want to make this war appear like inter-clan fighting,” Barud said. “This fighting is between those who support Islam, and godless invaders and those who support them.”