Foreign Fighters Join Islamists Waging War in Somalia

Update: Somalia’s Interim Leader is asking for international help against the Al Qaeda expansion into the country.

Foreign Fighters have joined the Islamists in Somalia in their campaign to take control of the country.

Somali protesters hold a poster during a demonstration that was organised by the Islamic Courts of Somalia in Mogadishu September 22, 2006. (REUTERS/Shabele Media)

A child was killed by the Islamists on Monday:

Islamist fighters in the Somali port city of Kismayo opened fire on Monday toward residents burning tires, throwing stones and chanting to protest against the Islamist takeover of the city hours before.

A 13-year-old boy was shot dead while protesting, and two other people were injured as violence raged for several hours in Somalia’s third biggest city, witnesses said.

“We have been taken over by extremists, the Islamic courts have taken us by force, and now they are firing at us,” protester Dahabo Dirie said.

Riding trucks with machine guns, the Islamists guarded main streets and forbade gatherings after the protests died down.

The Mogadishu-based Islamists poured into Kismayo overnight to extend their grip on south-central Somalia and effectively flank the powerless central government on three sides.

Ministers accused the Islamists of mounting the offensive with fighters from Eritrea, Pakistan and Yemen. “There are foreign forces … which attacked Kismayo,” Somali Interior Minister Hussein Mohamed Farah Aideed told al Jazeera network.

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