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Somali fighters vow Ramadan attacks
Ramadan Day 4. From Al Jazeera
Somali fighters have vowed to intensify their attacks during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, as residents of Mogadishu, the capital, took shelter from mortar fire.
Witnesses said at least four people were killed in fighting on Wednesday, as fighters and the Ethiopian forces backing the Somali government exchanged mortar and heavy machine-gun fire.
Abdirahin Issa Adow, a spokesman for the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) fighters, said the rebels had "decided to redouble attacks against the Ethiopians and their stooges during the holy month of Ramadan", which began on Monday.
He said the Ramadan attacks do not violate the Quran because his fighters are battling "enemies of Allah".
The battles started in the early morning and continued unabated for several hours.
As fighting continued in the capital, pirates seized a French sailing yacht off Somalia's northern coast.
Hassan Alore, the minister for natural resources in Somalia's breakaway Puntland region, said the hijackers had commandeered the boat and were taking it to the village of Eyl, south of Puntland's capital Bossaso.
"The pirates already got seven other ships hijacked off the Somalia coast in Eyl village," Alore added, saying the vessel was currently at Calula village east of Bossaso. Since the end of July, eight ships have been hijacked in the Gulf of Aden, including two Malaysian vessels as well as others from Germany, Iran and Japan.
The waters off Somalia are the most dangerous in the world for pirate activity, with the International Maritime Bureau reporting 24 attacks in the area between April and June this year.