US shells Somali territory for at least third time in 2007

A US Navy destroyer on Friday shelled several targets outside Bargal village, in the semi-autonomous Somali state of Puntland northeast of the capital Mogadishu, where Al-Qaeda operatives and Islamist fighters are alleged to have bases. Somali officials said there were casualties but did not give the exact figure. Regional leaders said they had not asked for US military help. Local elders said more than 100 civilians were killed in January attacks also purporting to target Al-Qaeda operatives when US-backed Ethiopian and Somali government forces ousted a powerful Islamist movement from southern and central regions of the country. Puntland and neighboring Somaliland regions have enjoyed relative stability compared to Somalia proper, which has been wracked by violence since the 1991 ouster of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

read more from Agence France-Presse

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