Somali insergents take over Jowhar

Published on Wednesday 26th March 2008

Mogadishu (Somalia), March 26: Islami insergents have seized control of Jowhar, the most significant of several towns captured in recent months.


"Seven people, including a woman who was a government soldier and her small child that she was carrying on her back were killed early in the morning when Islamic Courts Union (ICU) fighters seized the town," a resident told Reuters on Wednesday. A spokesman for the ICU forces, Abdirahin Isse Addow, said four government soldiers were killed in the fighting, Press TV report said. The fighters had seized four smaller towns and a military checkpoint near Mogadishu prior to Wednesday's capture of Jowhar, a town 90 km (55 miles) north of Mogadishu that served as a temporary base for the interim government in 2005. Somalia has had no effective government since warlords overthrew dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991 and then turned on each other, plunging the country into chaos. In recent months, a 15-month insurgency, which has left more than 6,500 people killed, has seen resurgence. Forty aid agencies urged the world on Wednesday to focus attention on what they called a "catastrophic" humanitarian situation in the country, where hundreds of thousands of people are suffering from war, drought and famine.