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Central Somali Town Residents Protest US Airstrike

By VOA News
04 May 2008

More than a thousand people demonstrated in central Somalia Sunday against the U.S. airstrike that killed the alleged head of al-Qaida in the country and at least 11 other people.

The protest took place in the town of Dusamareb, where the U.S. attack killed Aden Hashi Ayro on Thursday.

Ayro was a leader of the Islamist militant group al-Shabab, and was believed to have trained with al-Qaida in Afghanistan in the 1990s.

In the Somali capital, Mogadishu, witnesses say three Ethiopian soldiers have been killed in a clash with Islamist fighters.

Witnesses say say the sides exchanged gunfire Sunday after the insurgents launched an attack.

Ethiopian troops backing Somalia's interim government come under frequent assault from the Islamists, who receive support from Ethiopia's rival Eritrea.

In an unrelated incident, fighting between clans in western Somalia has killed at least 10 people and injured others.

Residents in the town of Luq say the fighting broke out late Saturday and was sparked by a dispute over land.

Clan disputes and the Islamist insurgency have complicated the government's effort to stabilize the Horn of Africa country. Somalia has not had an effective central government in 17 years.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.




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