facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Al-Shabaab leaves Mogadishu

Aug. 6, 2011 at 10:45 AM   |   Comments

MOGADISHU, Somalia, Aug. 6 (UPI) -- Al-Shabaab's withdrawal from Mogadishu, Somalia's capital, represents a change in strategy, Shabaab spokesman Ali Mohamoud Rage said.

The militant Islamist group with ties to al-Qaida withdrew its fighters from Mogadishu Saturday, but that doesn't mean it will end its rule in other parts of Somalia, The New York Times reported.

"The mujahedin [holy warriors] have completely vacated Mogadishu for tactical purposes," Rage said, adding al-Shabaab would change its "fighting strategy into hit and run attacks, where the mujahedin will attack on the spot wherever government and African Union forces are based. We will be back soon."

Residents poured into the streets of Mogadishu as truckloads of heavily armed Shabaab fighters left the city under cover of darkness. The organization has controlled parts of the city for years, but it has suffered losses to key players in recent months, the report said.

Witnesses said al-Shabaab troops were heading south of Mogadishu toward Merka, Brava and other towns under their control in southern Somalia. Residents wasted no time celebrating, immediately pouring into the streets of Mogadishu to jeer the vacating al-Shabaab troops.

The Times said Mogadishu is under government control for the first time in years.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Most Popular
1
Ukraine: Troop movements will no longer be publicized after Russian attacks
2
High-ranking Chicago police officer charged with putting gun in man's mouth
3
Federal judge strikes down polygamy ban in Utah
4
Putin mocks trapped Ukrainian soldiers, urges rebels to release them
5
Islamic State claims mass execution of 250 Syrian soldiers
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback