Monday, May 17, 2010

IN PICTURES: Sufi Militia Ahlu Sunna Waljamaca Deploys in Mogadishu

Fighters belonging to the Somali Sufi militia Ahlu Sunna Waljamaca (Ahl al-Sunna wa'l Jama'ah; long name for Sunni Muslims) deploy in the contested capital city of Somalia, Mogadishu, where the weak interim transitional government of President Shaykh Sharif Ahmed are faced with an increasingly powerful Islamist insurgency led by Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahideen ("Movement of Warrior-Youth;" Al-Shabaab) and Hizbul Islam (Islamic Party). President Ahmed's government relies heavily on African Union military forces in the country to protect it from these two insurgent groups.

In late April, Harakat al-Shabab released a statement via its media outlet, Al-Kata'ib (Brigades) Media that claimed to have inflicted a severe defeat on Ahlu Sunna Waljamaca in Mogadishu, killing a number of its members. In terms of appearance and weaponry, the Sufi militiamen are largely indistinguishable from their main opponents in Harakat al-Shabab.

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