Thursday, December 14, 2006

Somali Gov't: Hizbullah Fighters in Somalia

Written by The Media Line Staff

The Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in Somalia has accused the Supreme Council of Islamic Courts (SCIC) of hosting fighters from Hizbullah, the Somali news agency SomaliNet reports.

"During the past few weeks, militants from Lebanon, Afghanistan and other countries in the Middle East, have been arriving in the capital [Mogadishu] to join the SCIC against the legitimate government in Baidoa," Deputy Defense Minister Salad 'Ali Jelle told reporters on Wednesday. Jelle added that his government was also aware of the fact that the SCIC forces were receiving soldiers and weapons from neighboring Eritrea.

The SCIC dismissed Jelle's accusations as untrue and baseless.

"We see the government accusation as a policy aimed at demonizing the image of the SCIC," the organization's head of security affairs Sheikh Yousuf Muhammad Siyad Indho-Adde told reporters.

The Media Line reported on Wednesday that the SCIC forces were preparing for their final battle against the TFG in the latter's stronghold in Baidoa, south-west of Somalia. Meanwhile, various reports indicate that the last-minute talks between the warring sides, scheduled to begin on Friday in Khartoum, will probably be postponed.

Since February this year, the SCIC has gained control over most of Somalia's central and southern regions, including the capital, Mogadishu. The organization's leader, Sheikh Hasan Dahir 'Aweis, has called for Muslims from around the world to come to Somalia and assist his forces against the enemy.

A few weeks after the war in Lebanon ended, a U.N. report indicated that 720 fighters from Somalia's SCIC had fought in Lebanon alongside Hizbullah. The SCIC has denied the report.

Written by The Media Line Staff

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