In Somalia, Islamist militias ban music from the radio

By Sudarsan Raghavan

Washington Post Foreign Service

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

MOGADISHU, SOMALIA -- In a capital that pulses with the sounds of war -- the rumble of armored trucks, the crash of mortars, the crack of AK-47s -- Radio Xurmo was an oasis.

Haunting Somali love songs, vibrant Arabic pop, even Bob Marley and Michael Jackson filled the airwaves. The news, however dire, was bookended by melodic nationalist tunes that evoked Somalia's lost glory.

"Now, the songs have vanished," declared Yasmin Mayo Mohammed, 35, minutes before she prepared to read the news.

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