Somalia: Jihadists seize yet another town, impose Islamic law
Advancing ever closer to Somalia’s beleaguered capital, heavily armed Islamic fighters declared Thursday they will use strict Muslim rules to bring their lawless Horn of Africa country back under control.
The latest conquest by Islamic forces came late Wednesday in Elasha, 10 miles from the capital of Mogadishu. Thousands of people who have fled a bloody, two-year insurgency are living there in flimsy huts made of sticks and plastic tarp.
Islamic fighters now control most of southern and central Somalia, with the crucial exceptions of Mogadishu and Baidoa, where the parliament for Somalia’s weak, U.N.-backed government sits.
Elasha was taken my “more moderate Muslims”, “who want to impose strict Islamic law”, and “who want to work for the elderly and disabled”. They continue:
“We inform you that from today on, all areas under our control will be ruled by Islam,” Shabab commander Sheik Abukar told residents of Merka on Thursday, one day after taking over the key port town without firing a shot. “We will change the behavior of the youth here.”