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As Somalia’s leaders discuss security, Islamists seize town
MOGADISHU, Somalia 17 May 2008 - The leaders of Somalia's transitional government held a closed-door meeting Saturday at Villa Somalia, the heavily-guarded presidential compound in the capital Mogadishu.
President Abdullahi Yusuf, Prime Minister Nur "Adde" Hassan Hussein and parliament Speaker Sheikh Adan "Madobe" Mohamed were all present at Villa Somalia during the meeting, sources said.
No information was made available to the media following the private discussions, but Speaker Adan Madobe spoke with Mogadishu-based Radio Banadir before the meeting.
"The situation in the country is very dangerous…the anti-government groups are capturing a new district everyday," the Speaker said.
Inside sources told Garowe Online that President Yusuf called for urgent military action against the insurgents, but that Prime Minister Nur Adde appealed to the Somali leader to await the outcome of an ongoing peace process sponsored by the United Nations.
The UN-organized talks, held in neighboring Djibouti, ended yesterday with the delegations from the Somali government and the opposition agreeing to reconvene later this month.
In the countryside, Islamist gunmen raided and successfully captured the town of Jilib, 300km south of Mogadishu.
Locals said the Islamist guerrillas killed two militiamen who had set up an illegal roadblock in the outskirts of town and were reportedly harassing travelers.
Town administrators and security forces fled Jilib early Saturday morning, after reports emerged that heavily-armed Islamist fighters were on their way to town.
The rebels set up base at the main administration building in the town, with locals saying the Islamist gunmen captured three armored trucks from fleeing government troops.
An Islamist commander who publicly addressed Jilib residents said they came to help secure the town and establish order.
Jilib became the third town captured since last week, after Dinsor and Bal'ad towns fell to the Islamists.
Source: Garowe Online