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World Briefing / Somalia

Insurgents target U.N.

July 21, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Islamic insurgents with alleged links to Al Qaeda looted two United Nations compounds in southern Somalia and announced that they would ban three U.N. agencies from operating in areas the militants control.

The U.N. confirmed that Al Shabab militants had stolen emergency communication equipment from its compound in Baidoa and two cars and furniture from its compound in Wajid. No injuries were reported. The U.N. said it was suspending its operations in Baidoa and continuing them in Wajid, which serves as the world body's hub for humanitarian aid in the region.

Al Shabab is battling to overthrow Somalia's government, and it controls large areas of Mogadishu, the capital, and southern Somalia. The U.S. State Department says the group has links to Al Qaeda, but Al Shabab denies that.

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