Africa

Islamic extremists denounce Somalia's new president

A commander of Somalia's Islamic extremist rebels says the group opposes the election of the new president and vows to continue fighting the government, the first official comment from al-Shabab since the president's election earlier this month.

In an audio message released by al-Shabab's radio arm Sunday, Sheikh Hassan Yaqub, a senior commander of the extremist group, called Somalia's new president Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed an "apostate" and warned Somalis against supporting him. Mohamed, who holds both Somali and U.S. citizenship, was elected Feb. 8.

The al-Shabab leader also referred the new president as "evil-minded," recalling his eight-month tenure as the prime minister of Somalia in 2010 and 2011, during which the extremists lost control of Mogadishu, the capital.