News 2008


Somalia: 'Muslims are being massacred': Dobley mayor

7 Mar , 2008

DOBLEY, Somalia Mar 7 (Garowe Online) - The mayor of a town in south Somalia which was the target of a U.S. air strike last week says that al Qaeda has never set foot in the town.

Ali "Dheere" Hussein, the mayor of Dobley, told the BBC Somali Service that the U.S. bombing killed innocent civilians.

"The only thing I see here is innocent people being massacred," Mayor Ali Dheere said, referring to a house hit by U.S. missiles on March 3.

The mayor said that the Somali Transitional Federal Government did not contact Dobley officials, even to send condolences to the families of the deceased.

He said there is no hospital in Dobley town to treat the wounded civilians, so "we took them to the pharmacy since the [Kenya] border is closed."

Mayor Ali Dheere said the U.S. bombing was "wrong and intentional," since the people of Dobley did not harm the U.S.

"I here about al Qaeda only from the U.S. government and the Somali President [Abdullahi Yusuf]," the Dobley mayor said.

Asked about the intention of the U.S. bombing, Mayor Ali Dheere said, in his opinion, that "Muslims are being massacred."

Righteous fighters

Hassan Turki, the commander of Islamist militias in south Somalia, was a target in the U.S. bombing of Dobley.

He told the BBC that the American government is being lied to by local opportunists, who are using the "terrorist card" to their own advantage.

He compared U.S. policy to a man who once loved a girl, but the girl refused him and so he gave her money every time he saw her.

"We are not terrorists. We are righteous fighters. [Former Somali President] Mohamed Siad Barre released me from jail in 1964 to fight the Amhara and now [Ethiopian Gen.] Gabre rules Villa Somalia," Turki said.

He dismissed Somali President Yusuf's allegations that al Qaeda fighters trained in Afghanistan were regrouping in Dobley.

"We were trained as children because the clans used to fight. All Somalis are trained," he said with a slight chuckle.

Turki said he does not know the three al Qaeda fugitives whom the U.S. government believes are being sheltered in southern Somalia.

"We don't know about them [three wanted al Qaeda operatives] but even if they did exist, is it right to kill all the innocent people for them?"

Source: Garowe Online