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Somali Militants Vow to Avenge Killing of bin Laden


Al-Shabab fighters march with their guns during military exercises on the outskirts of Mogadishu, Somalia, February 17, 2011

Al-Shabab fighters march with their guns during military exercises on the outskirts of Mogadishu, Somalia, February 17, 2011

Somalia's al-Qaida-linked militant group al-Shabab is vowing to avenge the killing of Osama bin Laden.

A spokesman for the Islamist rebels said Saturday that the al-Qaida leader's death will not hurt al-Shabab's fight.

Al-Shabab has been trying to overthrow the United Nations-backed transitional government in Somalia and impose a harshly conservative form of Islamic law across the country. The group controls large sections of southern and central Somalia and parts of the capital, Mogadishu.

Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed told VOA Somali service on Monday that his government welcomes bin Laden's killing but is bracing for possible retaliation.

Hundreds of Somalis marched through Mogadishu Wednesday to celebrate bin Laden's death and call for an end to terrorism and violence by al-Shabab.

Somali officials have expressed hope that the killing of bin Laden will diminish al-Qaida's ability to support the Somali militant group. Hundreds of al-Qaida fighters are believed to be helping the insurgents.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

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