Militants May Have Taken Mogadishu
And the warlords
propped up by the US may have fallen:
Islamic militia appeared to control Mogadishu on Monday after winning a bloody three-month battle against warlords who have run the Somali capital for 15 years.
The warlords are widely believed to be covertly backed by a U.S. administration concerned, according to former U.S. intelligence officials, that Islamist rulers could provide a save haven for al Qaeda akin to Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. Many fled on Monday to other parts of Somalia or neighbouring Kenya.
The Islamic side, which supports sharia courts in Mogadishu, announced they controlled the city in radio broadcasts and public meetings. Both residents and some members of the warlords' own militia said the city was in Islamic hands.
"The era of warlords in Somalia is over," resident Mohamed Asser said. "This morning Mogadishu is under only one hand, the Islamic courts."
The chaos in Mogadishu, battered by weeks of artillery duels, made it difficult to verify Islamic control of the city.
If confirmed, it would be the first time control of all of the city had been wrested from Somalia's powerful warlords since they ousted dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991, ushering in years of extreme violence and anarchy.