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Somali insurgents shoot at US congressman

 
Anonymous Coward
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04/13/2009 11:54 AM
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Somali insurgents shoot at US congressman
MOGADISHU (Agencies)

An American congressman came under mortar fire Monday as he was leaving in a plane from Mogadishu airport as Somali insurgents made good on their promise to target Americans in revenge for the rescue of a U.S. captain in which three pirates were killed.

"The plane of the congressman was leaving and the mortars started falling. There were no casualties, but the attack was aimed at the congressman. He flew out safely," an African Union official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Donald Payne, a member of the House Foreign Affairs committee, arrived Monday for talks with the Somali president and prime minister, according to a Somali government spokesman, Abdulkadir Walayo, on what is believed to be the first visit to the Somali capital by a senior American politician for years.
Earlier Monday, a Somali pirate chief threatened to target Americans in revenge for the rescue of a U.S. captain in a dramatic operation that killed three pirates under his command.

Barack Obama granted the Pentagon's request to use drastic measures to save the life of the captain, authorizing the use of deadly force against Somali pirates late Sunday.

" The American liars have killed our friends after they agreed to free the hostage without ransom, but I tell you that this matter will lead to retaliation and we will hunt down particularly American citizens travelling our waters "
Pirate Abdi Garad

"The American liars have killed our friends after they agreed to free the hostage without ransom, but I tell you that this matter will lead to retaliation and we will hunt down particularly American citizens travelling our waters," Abdi Garad told AFP by phone from the pirate lair of Eyl.

"It is never the end of the world and we will intensify our attacks even reaching very far away from Somalia waters, and next time we get American citizens... they (should) expect no mercy from us."

The U.S. Navy said Captain Richard Phillips' life was in danger when snipers aboard a U.S. destroyer shot his captors on Sunday, freeing him unharmed and killing three of four pirates who had taken him after trying to seize his vessel. The fourth was in custody.

It took only three shots to end the invasion. In an interview with media, Admiral William Gortney said the snipers killed each pirate with a single shot in the darkness describing the soldiers as "extremely, extremely well-trained."

The pirates had been holding Phillips after his U.S. crewmates forced them off the vessel on Wednesday. They had been demanding an unspecified ransom for his release.
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U.S. politician flies into Mogadishu

Payne flew into Mogadishu on Monday flanked by six bodyguards, witnesses said.

Somali officials say Payne discussed ways the international community could help the government, and the issue of piracy, during a visit that lasted just a few hours.

African Union soldiers, who are in Somalia on a peacekeeping mission, also provided security for Payne on his visit to one of the world's most dangerous cities.

Payne, 74, a New Jersey Democrat, is in his 10th term in the U.S. House of Representatives and was first elected in 1988. He is chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus and is chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee's subcommittee on Africa and global health.

[link to www.alarabiya.net]
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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04/13/2009 12:40 PM
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Re: Somali insurgents shoot at US congressman
(CNN) -- A plane carrying U.S. Rep. Donald Payne was fired on Monday as it left the airport in Mogadishu, Somalia, but the aircraft departed safely and landed without incident in Nairobi, Kenya, his office said, citing U.S. State Department officials.
U.S. Rep. Donald Payne, D-New Jersey, meets with soldiers in Iraq in an undated photo.

U.S. Rep. Donald Payne, D-New Jersey, meets with soldiers in Iraq in an undated photo.

"We understand that his plane was fired on ... as he left, ... but that they have left safely and that no one was hurt," said Kerry McKenney, spokeswoman in Payne's Washington office, citing police officers at the airport.

"We are hoping that he's safe and on his way back home."

Police officers at the airport told Payne's staff in Washington that the plane was damaged in the attack, but the severity was not immediately clear.

Payne, who was traveling with an Africa expert from the Library of Congress, was the only lawmaker on the trip, McKenney said. They traveled to London, England, on April 9 and two days later to Djibouti, she said.

Payne travels to Africa often, and a plane carrying him was attacked during a previous trip to Somalia, McKenney said.

He was aware of the danger he could face, State Department spokesman Robert Wood told reporters.

"We provided the congressman with a briefing and gave him a very frank and straightforward assessment of the security situation on the ground," Wood said, noting the State Department has issued an advisory warning Americans not to travel to Somalia.

The New Jersey Democrat and chairman of the Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health was visiting Somalia because "he felt it was important to travel there to see firsthand what was happening," McKenney said.

The trip was planned before the pirate standoff involving the Maersk Alabama, though the issue of piracy was on Payne's agenda, she said.

Payne's original plans had been to fly from Somalia to Nairobi and then return to the United States, she said.

"I don't know whether they have changed, but I hope to be hearing from the congressman shortly," she told CNN in a telephone interview.

Earlier Monday, a journalist in Mogadishu said mortar rounds and gunfire were heard near the airport shortly after Payne ended a news conference with Somalia's prime minister, Omar Abdirashid.

Payne was hoping to spend four to five hours in Mogadishu at the conclusion of the trip to meet with both Somalia's prime minister and members of the African Union, McKenney said.
Anonymous Coward
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04/13/2009 12:44 PM
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Re: Somali insurgents shoot at US congressman
That congressman was an idiot to go over there.

ooh, I wanted to see for myself.

There's a reason police keep you from seeing for yourself in America, idiot.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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04/13/2009 12:47 PM
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Re: Somali insurgents shoot at US congressman
or maybe he was picking up or dropping off more pirates
aintnomoretime

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04/13/2009 12:48 PM
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Re: Somali insurgents shoot at US congressman
I thought for sure this was going to be about Cynthia McKinney doing some stupid shit again.

Then again, it's not like any of that bunch has a bit of common sense.
You can't have a light without a dark to stick it in.
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Bob Saget

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04/13/2009 12:49 PM
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Re: Somali insurgents shoot at US congressman
And so it begins... damned
The chariots of God are tens of thousands, and thousands of thousands.
Anonymous Coward
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04/13/2009 12:51 PM
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Re: Somali insurgents shoot at US congressman
They better hope no SEALS are in the area.

chuckle
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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04/13/2009 12:52 PM
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Re: Somali insurgents shoot at US congressman
couple strange articles i saw.

Pirates' Strike a U.S. Ship Owned by a Pentagon Contractor, But Is the Media Telling the Whole Story
[link to newsaholics.yuku.com]

The Somali Pirates of Israel
[link to newsaholics.yuku.com]





GLP