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Peacekeepers Suffer First Casualties In Somalia

ISSUE 257
Front Page
Index
Headlines

Haatuf Journalists sent to prison

Ethiopia’s Ability To Tackle The Meddle In The Horn vs. Saving Its Ties With Somaliland From Hackers “Use It First Or Lose It”

Somaliland government blames the judiciary
For canceling the press law

Peacekeepers Suffer First Casualties In Somalia

Mandeeq Chairman Passes away

Could Somaliland War Of Words Lead To Conflict ?

The Foreign Minister Of The Republic Of Somaliland,, Has Appealed To The Chairman Of The African Union

AU Troops 'May Spark Somalia War'

Somali president returns to Baidoa after Puntland stopover

Largest Number of Wounded People Admitted to Hospital in Mogadishu

Mission Report on the Trial Observation of Detained Human Rights Defenders
in Somaliland

Regional Affairs

African Union Vows No Meddling In Somali Affairs

Somaliland celebrates International Women Day

Editorial
Special Report

International News

Q: On the independence of Somaliland from Somalia?

Empower women to secure prosperity in Somalia, says UNICEF

Aid Workers Bid To Fight Genital Mutilation

Why is the US press silent on Brzezinski’s warnings of war against Iran?

Bush Backing Kibaki's Re-Election Drive, Charges Raila As He Wraps Up U.S. Visit

DynCorp lands Somalia contract

FEATURES & COMMENTARY

Oil in Darfur? Special Ops in Somalia?

Editorial - Somaliland People Will Tolerate No More

The Other Somalia: An Island Of Stability In A Sea Of Armed Chaos

International Women’s Day: Concern About Increasing Violence Against Women Journalists

SEritrean diaspora urged to intercede on behalf of imprisoned journalists on 2,000th day since “Black Tuesday"

SOMALIA FACES BEST CHANCE IN YEARS FOR PEACE, BUT CHALLENGES ARE ENORMOUS - UN REPORT

The Assyrian and Israelite Origin of the Northern Europeans and Americans

Food for thought

Opinions

The King Is Truly Naked

Mr. President, Back Off From Your Self-Defeating Mission: And Reform Your Leadership and Administration

Somaliland Need Regime Change By Any Means Necessary

Ignored Somaliland should embrace terrorism to be noticed !

In Defense Of The Press Law

Gold Ball at Rayale’s Court

Haatuf Journalists Jail Sentences: Travesty of Injustice

Climate Change Concern: Why Now?


Some of the first AU peacekeepers from Uganda in Mogadishu

Mogadishu, Somalia, March 8, 2007 – At least nine Somalis were killed when a rocket fired at African Union (AU) troops hit a restaurant in an ambush that inflicted the first casualties on the peacekeepers, officials said on Thursday.

The attacks late on Wednesday were the second straight day of assaults against the Ugandan troops, the vanguard of an AU force that was targeted from the moment it landed in the coastal capital on Tuesday.

Fighters who have carried out near-daily assaults against the interim government and its Ethiopian allies for the past two months had threatened the AU troops with attack.

But as has been the case all along, civilians bore the brunt.

A rocket-propelled grenade aimed at an AU armored car missed and instead blasted apart a restaurant.

"The place was littered with human limbs," said one local, who was standing outside and gave his name as Mohamed.

Two other people were killed in that clash, but it was not clear whether they were fighters or civilians.

The Ugandans immediately faced the same kind of treatment that forced a well-funded U.S.-U.N. peacekeeping mission to quit Mogadishu in 1995, bloodied and humiliated by relentless attacks from well-armed Somali militiamen.

"We suffered two minor injuries. We fired in the air to scare them and that is how we managed to drive through," AU mission spokesman Capt. Paddy Ankunda said.

The fighters, who are thought primarily to be fighters from an Islamist movement routed from the city in December in a joint Somali-Ethiopian blitz, view the Ugandans as government allies -- and therefore targets.

The Islamist movement had already threatened any foreign peacekeepers with attack, saying they were merely tools of foreign occupation like the Ethiopian troops they are supposed to replace in helping the government secure the country.

The Ugandans were first targeted in a series of mortar strikes that hit their base at Mogadishu's international airport just hours after they landed on Tuesday.

The Ugandans are the first peacekeepers to set foot in Mogadishu -- one of the world's most gun-infested cities -- since the U.S.-U.N. mission ended.

The AU force is supposed to help President Abdillahi Yusuf's government extend its shaky authority over a country mired in anarchy since dictator Mohamed Siyad Barre was toppled in 1991.

None of the 13 other attempts at government since then has succeeded.

As with a peacekeeping operation in Sudan's Darfur region, the AU faces a shortage of money and equipment.

Nigeria , Ghana, Malawi and Burundi are also expected to send troops, but pledges so far make up only about half of the required 8,000 soldiers.

It was not clear how the reception given the Ugandans would affect troop deployments and contributions from other countries.

Source: Reuters


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