Islamists began demolishing an old Roman Catholic church in southern Somalia on Tuesday to replace it with a mosque, and vowed to do the same with all other non-Muslim places of worship they find in the area.
The act – and the threat – were the latest show of strength by the growing Islamic insurgency in and around the southern port of Kismayo. Somalia’s third-largest city has been in the control of al-Shabab, a powerful Islamist faction, since August.
“We have demolished a Christian church,” Ali told The Associated Press. “And we’ll replace it with an Islamic mosque. We will demolish all similar Christian cathedrals and other places of worship for Christians, Buddhists and other religions.”