MOGADISHU, SOMALIA - Islamic insurgents appeared to be scrambling for power Saturday, taking over several police stations in Mogadishu, the capital, as Ethiopian troops who have been propping up the government began to pull out, witnesses said.

Many fear that the Ethiopian pullout -- and last month's resignation of Somalia's president -- will cause Islamic extremists to fight among themselves for power, bringing even more chaos to this beleaguered Horn of Africa nation.

The Somalia government, with the tacit approval of the United States, called in the Ethiopians in 2006 to support the U.N.-backed government and rout Islamic militants who had taken over most of the country.

Initially, the Ethiopians' superior firepower worked -- the Islamists were driven from power. But they quickly regrouped in the north and launched an insurgency that continues today.