Insurgents gaining control in Mogadishu

Jan. 15, 2009 at 3:42 PM
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MOGADISHU, Somalia, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- Islamic insurgents have gained a significant foothold in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, capturing four vacated government bases there, observers say.

The BBC said that different insurgency factions are in control of four of the six vacated bases in Mogadishu as all Ethiopian troops have fled the capital as of Thursday.

The remaining two bases once controlled by the Ethiopian military are now being held by forces loyal to the interim government.

The drastic shift in power in Mogadishu comes after President Abdullahi Yusuf's resignation last month. The president resigned after failing to reach a successful peace agreement with opposition leaders.

The various insurgency groups did all back the peace process, but appear to be currently working in conjunction with one another in the capital.

Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein, who had conflicts with Yusuf over those negotiations, has said he would like to become the next president of Somalia.

The BBC said while insurgents flood into the capital, Mogadishu's presidential palace remains under the protection of African Union peacekeepers.

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