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Somalia’s al Shabaab vows to avenge bin Laden

cali-dheere1MOGADISHU (Reuters) – Somalia’s al Qaeda-linked rebels vowed on  Saturday



To avenge the killing of Osama bin Laden And said his death would not hurt their



Fight to topple the Country’s Western-Backed government.Analysts have said




Bin Laden’s death is unlikely to dampen the insurgency Waged by Somalia’s al Shabaab militants, who are regrouping amid infighting among the country’s politicians after a recent government offensive.

After news broke of bin Laden’s death in Pakistan some al Shabaab combatants in the Somali capital Mogadishu wore white as a sign of grief, residents said.

"We shall redouble our jihad and we shall overpower our enemies. Osama is not the first martyr, may God rest his soul," al Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage told reporters on Saturday.

"We shall never divert from the path of Sheikh Osama and we shall continue the jihad till we taste the death our brother Osama faced, or achieve victory and rule the whole world," he said in the capital Mogadishu.

Al Shabaab is battling to overthrow the government and impose its own harsh version of sharia law on the nation, although its predominately nationalist agenda is also colored by clan rivalries and money-making rackets.

This week, the Somali government, which only controls parts of the capital, warned of al Shabaab revenge attacks.

Uganda and Kenya, countries that have suffered al Shabaab and al Qaeda attacks in the past, have urged people to be vigilant in case of reprisals for bin Laden’s death.

The presence of largely Western-funded African peacekeeping troops in Somalia has helped the insurgents to champion a nationalist cause and recruit several hundred foreign fighters, some with a direct link to al Qaeda, analysts say.

On Thursday, al Shabaab killed a senior commander of the government-allied Ahlu Sunna militia, and vowed to recapture the towns in the southern Gedo region it had lost in a recent government offensive.

(Editing by David Clarke)


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