Somali Islamist insurgents seize pirate haven

Published on BBCnews, 2 May 2010.

Somali insurgents have taken control of one of the main pirate havens in the centre of the country.

Residents said several hundred rebels of the group Hizbul Islam had taken over the coastal town of Haradhere and that the pirates had fled. Hizbul Islam wants to establish Sharia law and order and put an end to the pirate trade in the town, the leader of the insurgents told the BBC. Somalia has not had an effective government for nearly 20 years. “Around 200 heavily armed militants… moved into the town early this morning and took up strategic positions, such as the police station and some former government premises,” Haradhere resident Aden Jim’ale said. “We are in Haradhere now, we came here after we received a request from the local people to help them provide their security,” Hizbul Islam chief of operations Mohamed Abdi Aros told the BBC … (full text).

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