Somali government declares state of emergency

June 23rd, 2009 - 12:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Mogadishu, June 23 (Xinhua) The Somali government has declared a state of emergency in the war torn country as government forces battled insurgents.
“The Somali government decided to impose a state of emergency on the country so that we can overcome the difficult situation the country is going through,” President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed said at a press conference in Mogadishu.

The Somali president signed the declaration Monday after the Somali cabinet voted to impose the state of emergency on Somalia last week.

The Somali government has been battling with Islamist insurgents for the past several weeks in renewed fighting in the north of Mogadishu.

Four senior Somali government officials were separately killed in insurgent attacks last week while hundreds of civilians and combatants were either killed or wounded in the clashes.

The Somali president accused the radical Islamist Al-Shabaab movement of using foreign fighters in their war against the government. He said foreign terrorists from Al Qaeda network are fighting alongside local Al-Shabaab group who he said want to make Somalia “a terrorist safe haven”.

Somalia has been through nearly two decades of civil strife and the current Somali government is the fifteenth attempt at setting up a strong central authority.

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