The Al-Shabab miltiants control much of southern and central Somalia and are preventing aid workers from assisting as many as 60 per cent of the 3.7 million Somalis in drought and famine zones.
Hard-line Islamist Al Shabab fighters conduct military exercise in northern Mogadishu's Suqaholaha neighborhood, Somalia, Sunday Sept. 5, 2010.
(Farah Abdi Warsameh/Associated Press)
An anti-government fighter from Al-Shabab keeps guard during a demonstration, against the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), organized by the militant group al Shabaab in Suqaholaha neighborhood, north of Mogadishu July 5, 2010.
An armed militant from Somalia's Hizbul Islam rebel group (a group that merged with as-Shabab in 2010) maintains order during a demonstration against the presence of the African Union (AU) peacekeepers on the outskirts of Mogadishu February 12, 2010.
A young fighter from the Al-Shabab militia shows the wound in his hand which he suffered while battling Somali government forces in a frontline section in Sinaya Neighborhood in Mogadishu, on July 13, 2009.
(MOHAMED DAHIR/MOHAMED DAHIR/Getty Images)
A hard-line Somali Islamist militant carries his machine gun as he patrols a streets in northern Mogadishu, July 13, 2009.
FILE - This Nov. 4, 2008 file photo shows members of Somalia's al-Shabab jihadist movement during exercises at their military training camp outside Mogadishu. Training camps in the lawless nation of Somalia are attracting hundreds of foreigners, including Americans, and Somalis recruited by a local insurgent group linked to al-Qaida, according to local and U.S. officials.