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Archive for Sunday, May 18, 2008

Rights leader: Islamist fighters seize town

May 18, 2008

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— Islamic insurgents in Somalia seized a major agricultural center overnight, sending hundreds of people fleeing, a human rights leader said Saturday.

The attack underscored the government's vulnerabilities, as U.N.-sponsored peace talks stalled in neighboring Djibouti.

Ali Bashi, of Fanole rights group, said the Islamic Courts Union ousted militiamen loyal to Somalia's fragile government from Jilib overnight and were patrolling the southern town Saturday. Two militia fighters were killed and three others were wounded in the fighting, he said, citing reports from his office in Jilib.

Jilib resident Mohamed Sandhere said he saw two dead government fighters near a checkpoint and five others, including two civilians, who were badly wounded.

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