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"A big white plane" spreads fear in Somali villages By Abukar Albadri


dpa German Press Agency
Published: Thursday January 11, 2007

By Abukar Albadri,
Mogadishu- The sight of "a big white plane" spreads fear
across the villages of southern Somalia as Somali government forces
and its allies try to flush out Islamic militants.
"A big white plane with a black tail was attacking. People were
saying it was an AC130 gunship, but what I know is that it was doing
very awful bombing," said Watira Suldan Farah, a mother of five
children, who fled from Butiya village before it was raided.

"At least 35 people were killed in Butiye since yesterday
(Wednesday), but all the people have run from the area," she said.

Butiye and Hagisrowa villages in the southern Afmadow district
were all targeted by the AC130 gunship, witnesses said.

Some Islamic militia members had managed to reach the village of
Hayow after they fled from Butiye, but the gunship pursued them,
villagers reported.

"The Islamic militia came and the gunship started to attack them.
Then six of the militia were killed on the spot," Hussein Dahir Yare,
a medical assistant in Hayow, said.

"Still the bodies of the militia are lying on the ground. We can't
bury them because we afraid of the government targeting us as
supporters," Yare said.

At least 13 people were wounded in Hayow, and reports said that
five traditional elders from the village of Qoqani who were trying to
reach Kismayo were killed in the jungle after the gunship suspected
they were Islamists escaping, Humow Omar, an elder from Qoqani,
confirmed.

The elders were apparently going to Kismayo city to lobby for the
interim government to ask the US government to stop the airstrikes.

Burgabo and Hola Wajer, both close to Kenya border in the coastal
areas of southern Somalia, were also attacked.

Burgabo civic leader Ali Bulaale Adan told Deutsche Presse-Agentur

© 2006 - dpa German Press Agency