Too peaceful, apparently. Or not “peaceful” enough. Somalia Jihad Update. “Islamist Insurgents Claim Somalia Attacks That Killed 20,” from Agence France-Presse:
MOGADISHU, Somalia (AFP)–Islamist insurgents in Somalia have claimed responsibility for twin attacks in the northeast port city of Bossaso that left 20 dead, mostly Ethiopians.
In a Web site message posted Wednesday, the Shabab said the explosions targeted “Ethiopian forces who fought in Mogadishu and who were assisting Puntland forces” in the city.
Ethiopian troops are currently in Somalia, propping up the weak interim government that has been fighting the remnants of the Islamist militia which briefly controlled large parts of the country in 2006. The Shabab said on their official Web site the attacks late Tuesday were “in order to prevent Puntland from serving as a safe haven for the Ethiopian invading forces and not have a rest place where they bring their wives.”
The Islamic Courts Union was defeated by Ethiopian troops last year. The political leadership fled to neighboring countries but its Shabab youth organization – effectively the movement’s armed wing – regrouped and waged a deadly guerrilla-style war against Ethiopian and governments targets.
The statement marked the first time Islamist insurgents – who had concentrated their operations on Mogadishu and its immediate surroundings – claimed an attack in Puntland since Ethiopian troops moved into Somalia.
In a recent report, the African Union warned the insurgents were attempting to further destabilize the struggling interim government by broadening their area of operations.
Puntland, which declared semiautonomous status in 1998, has been relatively peaceful compared to Somalia, which has been wracked by violence since former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre was ousted in 1991.