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Somali Jihadists Drag Soldiers Thru Streets

From it’s déjà vu all over again via Reuters:

Insurgents drag soldiers’ corpses through Mogadishu

By Sahal Abdulle

Somali insurgents dragged soldiers’ bodies through the streets of Mogadishu before burning them on Wednesday in heavy fighting that killed at least 13 people and injured scores more, witnesses said.

The corpses of five soldiers — either from the Somali government army or their Ethiopian allies — were desecrated during some of the worst clashes in the lawless capital since the interim government took over in December, witnesses said.

In one place, men dragged two semi-naked corpses by the feet while members of a crowd chanting “God is Great” kicked and pelted them with stones, a Reuters reporter said.

In another, three bodies were hauled round by rope, kicked and then also set alight, witnesses said.

The grisly scenes recalled the aftermath of the 1993 shooting-down of a Black Hawk helicopter by Somali militiamen during a failed U.S. operation to hunt down warlords.

Images of dead American troops being dragged through the streets of Mogadishu were the beginning of the end for a U.S.-U.N. peacekeeping force which quit Somalia in 1995.

As well as the five soldiers, witnesses and medical sources said at least eight civilians died in Wednesday’s clashes.

The fighting, which wounded at least 65 people according to hospital staff, began early in the day when insurgents fired at Ethiopian and government forces in tanks and was still raging in the afternoon, residents said.

“I have never seen or experienced the kind of fighting that I saw today. People were running in all directions. I saw an old man die in front of me,” said Faduma Elmi, 80.

After being attacked, the tanks responded with four cannon shots, they said. The Ethiopians also fired rockets at Mogadishu stadium where residents said some insurgents had dug in…

The fighting initially broke out near a government base in the former defense ministry. Insurgents have repeatedly struck at government and Ethiopian soldiers based there.

This government is the 14th attempt at establishing central rule since warlords toppled dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991…

Ethiopia denied its soldiers were among the five dragged through the streets. “That is categorically false,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Ambassador Solomon Abede.

Hey, it worked before. The Americans cut and ran after just such desecration.

But surely the Ethiopians are made of sterner stuff than Bill Clinton.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, March 21st, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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