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|US Naval Boats in Somalilandís Territorial Waters Off Lughaya|
Lughaya (SL Times) - A yet unidentified number of American Naval boats are now deployed within a few kilometers off Lughaya, a Somaliland coastal town located at the African side of the Gulf of Aden.
The US naval forces moved into Somalilandís territorial waters several days ago and are still there, local inhabitants of the area said yesterday.
The American military presence off the coast of Lughaya has also been confirmed by a Somaliland Security official who spoke to the Somaliland Times yesterday on condition of anonymity.
It was not possible to reach US authorities for comment on the reasons behind the deployment of their forces within such a close distance from Somaliland's shores.
Neither has it been clear whether the vessels were part of the naval task force assigned to the Horn of Africa since early last year by a coalition of Western countries reportedly to protect the region from terrorist infiltrations in the post Sept-11 attacks.
Around 1800 US Military Personnel are currently based in neighboring Djibouti. They are occasionally joined by other American units to conduct joint military training, involving air, ground and sea warfare in the Horn of Africa.
It was only early last month when warplanes bombed the Somaliland island of Eibaat, northwest of Lughaya. Though initial press reports attributed the bombardment to the Americans, the aircrafts which carried out the attack have never been properly identified.