Great powers fight in Somalia?

On Sept. 14, the same day a US Special Forces helicopter raid reportedly killed a Shabab insurgent leader in Somalia, residents at the southern village of Erile reported a second chopper raid by foreign forces. Abdinasir Mohamed Adan, an elder from the nearby village of Barawe, told AFP by phone: “There was a military operation carried out by four foreign choppers in Erile village. A car was destroyed, we are also hearing that some of the vehicle’s passengers were taken on the choppers.”

Shabab insurgents in the area and are believed to be holding a French agent kidnapped in July, but France denied local claims that its forces were involved in the raid. Some villagers reported seeing French insignia on the aircraft. The apparent US raid on a vehicle in southern Somalia is said to have killed Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, who is described as an al-Qaeda operative. The US raid was also reported to have taken place in Barawe district, so the two reported raids may in fact be the same. (AFP, AP, AlJazeera, Haaretz, Sept. 14)

See our last posts on Somalia and France in Africa.

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