Al-Shabaab vows deadlier war tactics

Monday July 13 2009

A Somali government fighter patrols the frontline of clashes between government forces and Islamic insurgents in Mogadishu July 12, 2009. The Islamic militant Al-shabaab has announced it's going to change the war tactics it has employed until now against the pro-government forces.  REUTERS

A Somali government fighter patrols the frontline of clashes between government forces and Islamic insurgents in Mogadishu July 12, 2009. The militant Al-Shabaab group has announced it's going to change the war tactics it has employed until now against the pro-government forces. REUTERS 

By ABDULKADIR KHALIF, NATION Correspondent in Mogadishu

MOGADISHU, Monday,

Al-Shabaab's spokesman Sheikh Ali Mohamud Raghe alias Sheikh Ali Dhere, has announced that his movement is going to change the war tactics it has employed until now against the pro-government forces.

The sheikh was reacting to the defeat his fighters experienced on Sunday when soldiers serving the African Union Mission in Somalia, Amisom, used huge armoury in Mogadishu.

“As from today, the first phase of the war against the government and Amisom is over,” announced Sheikh Ali Dhere. “You will see the second phase with deadlier consequences,” he added.

Sheikh Ali Dhere indicated that the new tactics will be identical to the one his movement used against the Ethiopian troops that withdrew from Somalia in January, this year. “The war methodology had given us positive results and we are going to repeat it,” said the sheikh.

The cleric emphasized that his movement will particularly target Amisom peacekeepers that he referred as mercenaries.

On Sunday, Amisom forces took their heavy weaponry to the battle fronts, especially in the northern sections of Mogadishu. The tanks and armed personnel carriers forced the Islamist fighters of Al-Shabaab and Hizbu Islam to abandon vast areas.

Nevertheless, Amisom forces came back to their camps after midday on Sunday. The TFG forces also retreated to their original positions held on Saturday. Although proud to have regained territory, the development earlier in the day angered Al-Shabaab leaders who are vowing to use more severe measures to counter both Amisom peacekeepers and TFG forces.
The sheikh did not elaborate the means his movement is going to use.