Tuesday, January 09, 2007

US Global Genocide Officially Adds Somalia

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Many people were killed in Somalia in a U.S. air strike targeting al Qaeda suspects among fleeing Islamist fighters, Somali officials said on Tuesday. The U.S. strike, part of a wide offensive also involving Ethiopian planes, was apparently aimed at an al Qaeda cell said to include suspects in bombings of U.S. embassies in east Africa and a hotel on the Kenyan coast.
A Somali elder or traditional leader reported a second U.S. air attack on Tuesday that killed up to 27 people but that could not be confirmed by other sources. A Somali government spokesman said there were "a lot" of casualties but exact numbers aren't known. He said most of the victims were Islamic fighters. But witnesses said civilians were killed. Unverified accounts by witnesses said 31 people have been killed, including a newlywed couple. One man told The Associated Press that his 4-year-old son was among them.
A Pentagon spokesman confirmed one air attack on Sunday against the top al Qaeda leadership in east Africa. He would not comment on whether the raid was successful but said it was based on "credible intelligence". Spokesman Bryan Whitman declined to state categorically whether the U.S. military had mounted other air strikes but indicated he had mentioned all U.S. operations. The attack was Washington's first overt military intervention in Somalia since a disastrous peacekeeping mission that ended in 1994.
More U.S. ships are moving into the waters off Somalia to reinforce the military effort there. The U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet has dispatched the aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower to join four other U.S. ships in the region."Due to rapidly developing events in Somalia, U.S. Central Command has tasked USS Dwight D. Eisenhower to join USS Bunker Hill, USS Ramage, USS Anzio and USS Ashland to support ongoing maritime security operations off the coast of Somalia," said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Charlie Brown, a spokesman for 5th Fleet in Bahrain.
A senior Somali official said an AC-130 plane, a formidable weapon armed with rapid-firing cannons, rained gunfire on the remote village of Hayo but said the attack was late on Monday. "There are so many dead bodies and animals in the village," the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters.The Somali elder, from the southern town of Afmadow, said a second strike killed between 22 and 27 people in the same area. "U.S. planes struck at Bankajirow this morning between 10 a.m. and noon (0700-0900 GMT)," the elder, who did not want to be identified, said by telephone. A U.S. official, who declined to be named, suggested any air operations on Tuesday were not carried out by American forces. Both Hayo and Bankajirow are near the Kenyan border, where hundreds of Islamists fled after their defeat by Ethiopian and transitional government forces in a lightning war in late December that ended six months of Islamic rule. Somalia's defence and information ministers told Reuters air strikes had taken place south of Hayo, near Ras Kamboni and Badmadow at Somalia's southernmost tip. Neither would say if the United States or Ethiopia, which has jets and helicopters in the area, carried them out, or precisely when they occurred. U.S. intelligence believes Abu Talha al-Sudani, named in grand jury testimony against Osama bin Laden as a Sudanese explosives expert, is al Qaeda's east African boss and is hiding among the fleeing Islamist troops. Before Ethiopian intervention, the Islamists seemed set to drive the weak interim government out of its only base in the small southern town of Baidoa.
The European Union, which has frequently differed with Washington over Somalia, criticised the U.S. air raid. "Any incident of this kind is not helpful in the long term," a spokesman for the European Commission said, adding that only a political solution would bring peace. After the disastrous 1992-94 U.S. mission, chronicled in the film "Black Hawk Down," Washington had kept clear of intervention in Somalia for a decade. But the CIA was widely reported to have been bankrolling warlords who controlled Mogadishu before being ousted by the Islamists last June.
Related: Official: New U.S. Airstrikes Launched In Somalia

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