Saturday, November 22, 2008

Islamic fighters enter Somalia pirate town

Africa: Now this is a plotline for 24 that needs to be explored. I am rooting for the pirates in any fight, lesser of two evils.

The fighters from the Shabaab militia, a fundamentalist movement likened to an African Taliban, were reported to have turned up in the port of Haradheere in southern Somalia, close to where the tanker is currently anchored.

Some reports said the Islamists, who have tried to impose brutal law and order on Somalia's warring clans, had the pirates themselves in their sights.

Others in Haradheere, however, said it was thought that they had arrived in the hope of collecting a share of any ransom money.

The pirate group that hijacked the tanker, which is carrying $100 million worth of oil, have demanded a $25 million ransom for return of the vessel and its 25-strong crew, which includes two Britons.

"The Islamists arrived searching for the pirates and the whereabouts of the Saudi ship," said a clan elder in Haradheere.

"I saw four cars full of Islamists driving in the town from corner to corner. The Islamists say they will attack the pirates for hijacking a Muslim ship."

But other residents believed the Shabaab's motives were not altruistic. "There are many militiamen who have arrived in the town and they want to get a share from the pirates if the ransom is paid," claimed Ahmed Abdullahi, another clan elder.

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