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calendar   Sunday - December 31, 2006

Operation Crushed Nuts: The Final Days

It’s almost over. The IslamoNazis ran away to the south of Somalia and are vowing to make a last stand at the port city of Kismayo. Meanwhile, Ethiopian tanks and troops are in hot pursuit. It’ll all be over with in a day or two now ... provided the Ethiopians smash Kismayo and sink any “getaway boats” the IslamoNazis are trying to flee in. I certainly hope the IslamNozais stick to their word and “never surrender”. That way there will be no problems with prisoners and this sorry mess can come to an end.

Somalia’s Islamists Vow Never to Surrender
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia - December 31, 2006

imageimageA phalanx of Ethiopian tanks and armored personnel carriers chugged toward Kismayo, the last city occupied by Somalia’s diminished Islamist movement, witnesses said Saturday, while the Islamists inside the city dug in and vowed never to surrender.

According to residents along Somalia’s coast, the Ethiopian troops, with soldiers from Somalia’s transitional government, were preparing to seize Kismayo, a port city near the Kenyan border.

Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed, a high-ranking cleric, emerged from a mosque in the city on Saturday, surrounded by gunmen, and told his followers that the Islamist leadership was not finished.

“The Islamic courts are still alive and ready to fight against the enemy of God,” Sheik Ahmed told residents of Kismayo in a speech on Saturday. “We left Mogadishu in order to prevent bloodshed in the capital, but that does not mean we lost the holy war against our enemy.”

Sheik Ahmed called on Somalis to begin an anti-Ethiopian insurgency. Already, several masked gunmen have surfaced on Mogadishu’s streets, suggesting a guerrilla movement may have begun.

Diplomats in Kenya, though, said that they were talking to moderate representatives of the Islamic movement on Saturday, trying to persuade them to back down. The Islamists are essentially cornered, hemmed in by the Indian Ocean, a sealed Kenyan border and thousands of troops headed their way. Their only route of escape may be to flee into the thickly forested area south of Kismayo, which Western intelligence officers suspect has been used before as a terrorist hide-out.

In Mogadishu, the presence of Ethiopian soldiers continued to spark scattered violence, with supporters of the Ethiopians battling street by street against the remaining Islamist partisans. Gunshots rang out, men and women battled with sticks and rocks and the thick black smoke of burning barricades lifted into the air.

Just two days ago, in a stunning reversal of fortune, Somalia’s transitional government, with the muscle of the Ethiopian military, reclaimed Mogadishu from the Islamist movement that had ruled large swaths of Somalia. Despite the Islamists’ repeated vows to fight to the death, their forces evaporated and Mogadishu fell without a shot. Many Somalis said Saturday that they hoped the same thing would happen in Kismayo.

More than a thousand people have been killed in fighting across the country since Dec. 20, and Somalia’s leaders now face the daunting task of trying to piece together a country that has not had a functioning central government for 15 years.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 12/31/2006 at 04:33 PM   
Filed Under: • Africa •  
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