Somali insurgency moves north

2012-03-05 22:48

Mogadishu - Analysts say that the fight against Somalia's al-Qaeda linked insurgency may be moving into the north of the country, an area previously considered safer than the war-ravaged south.

The move could mean that the al-Shabaab militia is seeking to regroup in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland after coming under heavy pressure from three foreign armies in southern Somalia.

Abdullahi Halakhe, a Horn of Africa analyst at the International Crisis Group, says al-Shabaab has been weakened by famine in its strongholds, pressure from foreign armies and internal divisions.

At least 13 people died over the weekend in clashes between an al-Shabaab affiliated militia and Puntland security forces.

Last week a Puntland militia announced a merger with al-Shabaab.