Marines ‘land near Somali town’
Posted Thursday, January 20 2011 at 19:26
Reports emanating from Central Somalia yesterday indicate that a unit of United States forces descended in an area called Gaan, 18 kilometres north of Haradhere, a former base of the notorious Somali pirates and a current stronghold of Al-Shabaab, the Somali Islamist movement opposing the government.
The marines are said to have used a helicopter to reach the remote location.
According to Shabelle, a broadcaster in Mogadishu, five armed soldiers descended from the chopper and immediately handcuffed three Somali youth that were next to a vehicle being repaired following a breakdown.
One of the three
Mohamed Bashir Mohamed told Shabelle that he was one of the three men flown by the American marines to a navy ship, off the coast. According to Bashir’s tale, the Americans kept the Somali men on a large ship for three hours and asked them whether they were pirates.
Having responded that they were not pirates, they were asked other questions such as where the pirates spend when they receive ransom money and who controlled the nearby Haradhere town.
He said that they responded knowing that Al-Shabaab controls the district, but nothing about pirates’ money.
The group was told that the American marines had their photos and that they were wanted men.