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Vol 49 No 6

Published 14th March 2008


Missing the target

The US bombs Al Qaida targets and misses while the TFG holds secret negotiations with elders and the Islamist opposition

On 3 March, a United States' cruise missile hit a home on the outskirts of Dobley, a small crossing point on the Somalia-Kenya border. Dobley is in an area of significant Islamic political activity and has not been under the control of Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) for months. There were no deaths and the strike failed to find the intended target, top Al Qaida suspect Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, wanted for his role in the 1998 US embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. Despite the failure to hit Nabhan, US counter-terrorism agents believe they have Al Qaida elements in Somalia on the run. The jihadist opposition, Al Shabaab, is also under rather more pressure than its (often exaggerated) claims of attacks on Ethiopian troops suggest.

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