Somali Militants Launch Ramadan Offensive

Despite deadly famine, al-Shabab forces attack Mogadishu
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2011 4:19 AM CDT
Somali Militants Launch Ramadan Offensive
Somali women displaced by the drought in southern Somalia wait to receive food in one of the camps in Mogadishu yesterday.   (AP Photo / Mohamed Sheikh Nor)

For the fifth straight year, Islamic militant group al-Shabab used the start of Ramadan to launch attacks in Somalia, reports CNN. Despite one of the worst famines in 60 years, al-Shabab fighters attacked African Union forces in northeastern Mogadishu yesterday with suicide bombers, guns, and mortars. "In the midst of a famine seizing Somalia, the extremists are choosing to focus on killing, not saving life," said a spokesman for African Union forces.

Al-Shabab appears to be gathering forces in Mogadishu for additional attacks, according to the African Union, even though the Muslim holy month of Ramadan began yesterday. "The extremists are using desperate measures to achieve their ends through their willingness to use brutal violence during the holy month of Ramadan," said the African Union spokesman. (More al-Shabab stories.)

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