Thursday, June 29, 2006

Islamists claim control over all of Somalia

Islamist leaders said Thursday they will extend their authority to all Sharia courts in the country from a council based in Mogadishu.

"From today, the Council will change from the Council of Islamic Courts of Mogadishu to the Council of Islamic Courts of Somalia," Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, who was appointed chairman of the council, said.

Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, shown in December 2005, will lead Somalia's Islamic courts.
Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, shown in December 2005, believed to be the real power running Somalia's Islamic courts. Reuters photo via Yahoo News.

The move is likely to heighten tensions near the border with Ethiopia, where an internationally-backed interim government is located.

Ethiopia, which backs interim President Abdullahi Yusuf has massed troops near the border, and analysts feel they would intervene if the interim government is directly attacked.

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