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Militant Islamist group al-Shabaab has warned it will launch attacks against any ceremony commemorating the formation of an independent Somalia.
Italian and British Somaliland unified on July 1, 1960, after both regions gained independence from their colonial rulers.
Speaking in Dabaqeyn Mosque in Huriwaa District in Mogadishu, senior leader Sheikh Mukhtar Robow Ali, known as Abu Mansoor, warned Muslims not to attend any celebrations.
“Islam has only two ceremonies, Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr, all other ceremonies are forbidden, no nation day, no independence day,” he said.
“The mujahideen must shell and use suicide attacks on every ceremony about Independence Day,” said Ahmed Balli, a senior al-Shabaab officer, while speaking in another mosque.
On Sunday June 26, al-Shabaab launched mortars at the presidential residence in Mogadishu during celebrations of the independence of the northern regions, although they missed their targets.
The Transitional Federal Government is planning to hold two ceremonies to mark July 1, in the presidential house and Banadir administration compound in Mogadishu, while the Somali diaspora is planning ceremonies in the UK, Sweden, USA, Holland, Kenya and Uganda.