BAIDOA, Somalia Mar 14, 2009
Islamists who control several regions in south-central Somalia have accused Ethiopian troops of committing massacre after discovering the remains of 12 dead persons, Radio Garowe reports.
Muktar Robow "Abu Mansur," the spokesman for Al Shabaab fighters, invited local reporters to the ex-Hasey factory in the southwestern town of Baidoa, formerly the seat of Somalia's federal parliament.
Pointing at the bones, Abu Mansur said: "These people were killed by the enemy troops [Ethiopia] who were here [Baidoa] for two years and these people were killed for their faith."
n independent journalist who saw the dead body remains described all the victims as males, who were buried while wearing "Islamic clothing," including the ' imama popularly worn by devout Muslim men.
"This is history for the Somali people and the crimes committed here will be blamed on the government of Abdullahi Yusuf, Ethiopia and the United States," Abu Mansur said, while referring to Somalia's former president who resigned in Dec. 2008.
Abu Mansur vowed that Al Shabaab will continue the war until African Union peacekeepers serving in Mogadishu leave the country.
Sheikh Hassan Mohamed "Abu Ayman," the Al Shabaab administrator in Baidoa, said the world must know that Ethiopian troops "committed massacres during their occupation of Somalia."
Hundreds of Baidoa locals watched as the body remains were removed one after another for proper burial at the cemetery.
Thousands of Ethiopian troops were deployed in south-central Somalia in 2007 and 2008, with heavy concentrations of troops in Mogadishu and Baidoa.
Al Shabaab guerrillas spearheaded a bloody two-year insurgency to uproot the Ethiopian troops, who were widely despised across Somalia and perceived as occupiers.
A 4,000-strong AU peacekeeping force in Mogadishu has come under growing scrutiny following the withdrawal of Ethiopian forces in early January.
Source: Garowe Online & Kismayo News