Members of Somali's al-Shabab militant group attacked a Kenyan police station near the countries' shared border, killing two police officers. The group said that the attacks are in retaliation for the presence of Kenyan soldiers in Somalia.
Kenyan troops began an assault against members of Somali's al-Shabab organization who continued to hold hostages at a Nairobi shopping mall. The siege began Saturday when Islamist group attacked the mall, calling it retaliation for Kenya's actions in Somalia.
Osama bin Laden reportedly broadcast a message to Somalia today, calling on militants to topple the recently elected though barely functioning government under President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed. Ahmed, a self-styled moderate Islamist, has vowed to install Sharia law; the nation's growing al-Shabab militant group has vowed to continue fighting him.
The departure of the U.S.-backed Ethiopian occupation forces from Somalia has created a dramatic power vacuum in Mogadishu, one that may potentially be filled by a worse sort of Islamist faction than the forces even intended to expel. Groups such as the brutal Islamist movement al-Shabab waged an insurgency that killed 10,000 and displaced 1 million, forcing U.S. and Ethiopian authorities to accept the relatively moderate political Islamist movement that they intended to deter from power originally. Political Islamist groups must now contend with al-Shabab and rival organizations like Juba Valley Resistance Movement, who are all jockeying for authority.
Al-Shabab and other militant Islamists in Somalia have provoked new fears among Somalis that Islamic-party rule never prompted. The al-Shabab-controlled authorities in a region where a 13-year-old girl was stoned for adultery are considered unaccountable by locals, who otherwise support a strict interpretation of Sharia law.