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al-Shabab Announces Alliance with al-Qaida


al-Shabab Announces Alliance with al-Qaida

al-Shabab Announces Alliance with al-Qaida

Al-Shabab's leaders said in a press conference Monday they will combine their jihad (holy war) in the Horn of Africa with the global struggle of Osama bin Laden's terrorist organization, al-Qaida

Al-Shabab, which controls much of southern and central Somalia, also announced a partnership with a smaller Somali rebel group called Kamboni.

Al-Shabab's area of control includes large parts of Mogadishu. It wants to overthrow the Somali government and set up an Islamic state.
International media outlets have quoted remarks stated by al-Shabab leaders in a press conference that al-Shabab would be working jointly with al-Qaida: "jihad of Horn of Africa must be combined with the international jihad led by the al-Qaeda network".

It may be for the first time the group has declared its alliance with al-Qaida officially. The United States has always argued that al-Shabab was linked to al-Qaeda against the position of some policy thinkers who tend to view al-Shabab as local brutal force.

In other news, witness in Somalia's capital said at least 12 people were killed in a battle between insurgents and pro-government forces late Sunday.

Islamist militants fired mortar shells at the presidential palace in Mogadishu, prompting return fire from government soldiers and African Union peacekeepers.

Many shells hit homes in the northern part of the city. Medical workers abd human rights officials say at least eight people were killed and 55 wounded, some seriously.

Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed was not at the palace at the time of the attack. He is in Ethiopia attending the African Union summit.

Sunday's battle was the second major outbreak of fighting in Mogadishu in three days. Fifteen people were killed Friday when al-Shabab fighters attacked bases belonging to government and African Union soldiers.

Al-Shabab's area of control includes large parts of Mogadishu. It wants to overthrow the Somali government and set up an Islamic state.

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