Somalis protest after U.S. missile attack
By Aweys Yusuf and Abdi Sheikh
Tue Mar 4, 2008
MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Hundreds of residents of a remote town in southern Somalia staged an anti-American demonstration on Tuesday after the United States launched an air strike against "a known al Qaeda terrorist" there.The town of Dobley was hit by two missiles on Monday in the fourth U.S. strike in 14 months against Somalia, where Washington says local Islamists are sheltering wanted al Qaeda leaders.Demonstrators in the small town on the Somali-Kenyan border said 600 people took part."We don't want the Americans because they are against our religion and culture. Down with America," shouted Mohamed Deq, one of the protesters.
District commissioner Ali Hussein Nur told Reuters by telephone "Since the American government admitted bombing our town, where people and livestock were killed and properties damaged, it must pay compensation." The exact toll from Monday's attack was unclear. Nur said on Monday that six people were killed, but a local resident, Fatuma Omar, said on Tuesday that only four were wounded.Residents of Dobley said they believed the missiles were targeting senior Islamist leaders meeting nearby.
The World Food Programme withdrew four of its aid workers and three from the World Vision charity from Buale in southern Somalia because of recent security incidents, a WFP spokesman said.In Washington, a Pentagon spokesman said on Monday the attack was against "a known al Qaeda terrorist".White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe told reporters the United States would pursue al Qaeda operatives wherever it found them."They are plotting and planning all over the world to destabilize the world, to inflict terror, and where we find them, we are going to go after them," he said on Monday.
In Mogadishu, two of the Somali capital's independent radio stations, Shabelle and Horn Afrik, were back on air after security forces raided their premises and accused them of siding with suspected activities by Islamist insurgents, their directors said.Shabelle, Horn Afrik and Simba radios were forced to shut down on Sunday. Simba said it was still off-air, waiting for the government to return broadcasting equipment seized in the raid.
In north Mogadishu, the bodies of two young women were dumped near a hospital close to where suspected Islamist-led insurgents and Ethiopian troops clashed on Monday. Elsewhere, the bodies of two men killed in clashes on Sunday were found in a Mogadishu street, a witness said