Sunday, December 31, 2006

Forces close in on Islamists' last stronghold

They have a take no prisoners mentality and are being successful in the process.

Ethiopian tanks were rolling south yesterday through Somalia for a final showdown with the hardline Islamists driven from power in a 10-day military offensive.

As the army convoy headed towards the southern port of Kismayo, the last stronghold of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), Ethiopian fighter jets flew overhead. The Somali interim government and its Ethiopian allies have stated that they aim to crush the Islamic movement, which took control of much of southern Somalia.

Hundreds of people have died during the campaign, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross, and more fighting is expected. A Somali government soldier said the Islamists – accused by Addis Ababa and Washington of being backed by al-Qaeda – had laced the highway from Mogadishu with mines as they pulled back.

Appears that the Ethiopians have learned from our mistakes and are NOT trying to win a "politically correct" war.

Update: KISMAYO, Somalia Dec 31, 2006 (AP)— Islamic fighters abandoned the last major town they held early Monday and were seen heading south toward the Kenyan border while government forces approached slowly because of land mines, residents and the government spokesman said.

The Islamic forces began to disintegrate after a night of artillery attacks at the front line and following a mutiny within its ranks, witnesses said. Government spokesman Abdirahman Dinari said he had information that Islamic forces were moving south toward the Kenyan border.

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