MOGADISHU, Somalia Mar 17 (Garowe Online) -
Islamist insurgents in Somalia have threatened to target and kill members of the Horn of Africa country's parliament after accusing them of 'aiding the enemy,' Radio Garowe reports.
Sheikh Hassan Mohamed "Abu Ayman," the Al Shabaab head in Bay and Bakool regions, told a March 14 gathering in the southwestern city of Baidoa that Al Shabaab gunmen will hunt down Somali lawmakers from the Transitional Federal Government (TFG).
"It is our decision to target TFG lawmakers everywhere, because they allowed enemy troops [Ethiopia and African Union] into our country," Abu Ayman vowed.
He declared that "this decision is final" and that the TFG lawmakers "will be killed."
In January, the TFG parliament was expanded to 550 MPs after members of the Islamist-dominated Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS) opposition faction joined to form Somalia's first 'national unity government.'
But Abu Ayman made no mention of the additional 275 MPs, mostly Islamists, who joined the expanded parliament.
In 2008, two Somali MPs were gunned down in Baidoa, the former seat of the TFG parliament. Somali lawmakers are now based in Mogadishu and the neighboring Republic of Djibouti, after Baidoa was seized in January by Al Shabaab fighters.
Ethiopian troops withdrew from Somalia earlier this year, but a 4,000-strong AU peacekeeping force (AMISOM) remains in Mogadishu, the national capital.
Al Shabaab and other Islamist hardliners, like Hizbul Islam [Party of Islam], continue attacks on AMISOM peacekeepers, demanding the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Somali soil.
Somalia's new national unity government is led by President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, the former head of the country's Islamic Courts movement.
Source: Garowe Online