The well-disciplined Islamists are making headway in Somalia:
Heavily armed militia loyal to Somalia’s Islamic courts have arrived in Burhakaba, a town 60km from the base of the interim government in Baidoa.
Somalia’s interim prime minister says it is clear the Islamists, who control the capital, plan to advance on Baidoa.
“The national security forces are on high alert,” Ali Mohamed Ghedi said.
The leader of the Islamist gunmen in Burhakaba told the BBC that there were no such plans and that the aim was to bring Islamic Sharia law to the region.
“This development could lead to more Somali bloodshed. It is a provocation and violation of areas under control of the government,” Mr Ghedi said
His comments came as 150 government troops are reported to have defected to the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC).
And, also in Somalia, Sharia law continues in all its dark glory:
Meanwhile in Mogadishu, at least 14 people including a woman have been arrested for watching what Islamists say was a “pornographic” film.
“They were watching a sexual film, which is forbidden in Islam” said Sheikh Dahir Shiekhow, chairman of the court in the area.
The film, being shown at a local cinema, had scenes of nudity.
“At least 20 armed militia with a Toyota pick-up car mounted with a machine-gun arrived where we watched film; they ordered us not to move and then arrested us,” said Mohamed Ade, who was released on Wednesday afternoon.
Mr Shiekhow said most the detainees had been released after being warned not to watch such films again.
The Islamists, which have brought some form of law and order to areas under their control after 15 years of anarchy, believe that Sharia law is the only solution to Somalia’s problems.
My guess is that the movie watchers are only grateful that they weren’t beaten and beheaded. The ACLU is strangely silent.