US navy helps trap fleeing Islamist fighters in Somalia
Somali and Ethiopian soldiers on land and United States troops at sea were reported to have surrounded hundreds of Islamist militiamen on the southern tip of Somalia yesterday.
A senior US diplomat, meanwhile, said she hoped that Ugandan peacekeepers could be in place within a month in war-torn Somalia, where the Council of Islamic Courts, which wants to rule by the Qur'an, was driven from the capital and much of the south last week. The movement has vowed to launch an Iraq-style guerrilla war, raising the prospect of bloody reprisals against foreign peacekeepers.
Somalia's interior minister, Hussein Aideed, said yesterday that 3,500 Islamists were still hiding in Mogadishu and surrounding areas, "and they are likely to destabilise the security of the city".