Somalia: Radical Islamic Group Making Comeback

December 14, 2007

Author: Staff Writer

Source: Tulsa World

Wire Service: AP

A radical Islamic group that was driven from power a year ago by a Western-supported offensive is making a significant comeback in Somalia, and the government can do little to stop it, officials said Thursday, as shelling and gunbattles in the capital killed at least 17 people.

Sheik Qasim Ibrahim Nur, director of security at Somalia's National Security Ministry, said the government has no power to resist the Council of Islamic Courts, which the United States has accused of having ties to al-Qaida.

He said the fighters had regrouped and were poised to launch a massive attack, adding that the government has "no power to resist the Islamists."

Mortar rounds slammed into the biggest market in Mogadishu, killing 12 people and wounding more than 40 others. Five others were killed in a separate gunbattle in the city. The death toll was expected to rise from the latest bloodshed blamed on Islamic insurgents.