Wednesday, January 10, 2007

 

Gunships attack suspected al Qaeda fighters in Somalia

`Helicopter gunships attacked suspected al Qaeda fighters in the south Tuesday after U.S. forces staged airstrikes in the first offensive in the African country since 18 American soldiers were killed there in 1993, witnesses said.

Witnesses said 31 civilians, including two newlyweds, died in the assault by two helicopters near Afmadow, a town in an area of forested hills close to the Kenyan border 220 miles southwest of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu. The report could not be independently verified.

A Somali Defense Ministry official described the helicopters as American, but the local witnesses told The Associated Press they could not make out identification markings on the craft. Washington officials had no comment.’




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