14/11/08 (B473-B) Shabelle – Les forces islamistes poursuivent leur progression où elles s’emparent de plusieurs villes, dont Owdhegle. /// Islamic front fighters seize southern district.

One of the increasingly powerful Islamic insurgent groups is advancing toward Somalia’s seaside capital, capturing lower Shabelle district without firing a shot.

The Islamic front fighters have captured Owdhegle district of lower Shabelle region on Wednesday night, one of their first seizures of territory.

"Our fighters have taken the distrocy pecefully," said Islamic front commander in the district.

There were no government troops based in the district.

The fighters were still present Thursday.

Adado is 660 kilometers (410 miles) north of the capital.

The fighters entered the town in 6 pickups on Wednesday night, some covering their faces with red turbans, resident man Yahye Hassan said by telephone. They seized Owdhegle without shooting anyone.

Besides hit-and-run attacks on outlying towns in which they usually attack soldiers, free prisoners and voluntarily withdraw, the fighters launch near-daily attacks on government and Ethiopian forces in the capital. They are linked to the Council of Islamic Courts.

Lawless Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991, when warlords overthrew President Mohamed Siad Barre and then turned their clan-based militias on each other. The impoverished country is awash with weapons and attacks on humanitarian workers are increasing.