Somalia in turmoil

MOGADISHU: Somalia’s president was holed up in his compound and residents were fleeing Mogadishu on Thursday, as hardline Islamist insurgents prepared their bid to seize power. Radical opposition leader Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys urged his former Islamist ally President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed to leave office, as warring factions regrouped ahead of an expected final battle. Insurgents have been redeploying forces from across the country to launch an offensive, while Ugandan and Burundian AU peacekeepers held the fort for Sharif’s beleaguered administration. — AFP