Embassy bombers may be in Kismayo for Islamist last stand

AP/NY Times:

Thousands of Somali and Ethiopian troops set off Saturday for a showdown with Islamic forces who have regrouped at a southern seaport since abandoning the Somali capital two days ago.

Some 3,000 Muslim militiamen have taken a stand in the Indian Ocean port city of Kismayo, and the U.S. government believes they may include four suspects in the 1998 bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

Kismayo is about 100 miles from Kenya, and the Somali government and its Ethiopian allies hope to close the net before the al-Qaida suspects can slip out of the country.

Several thousand Somali and Ethiopian troops were advancing on Kismayo Saturday from about 75 miles north of the city.

''We are going to advance from different directions to try and encircle the city and force the Islamic group to minimize the loss of civilians,'' government spokesman Abdirahman Dinari told The Associated Press.


The U.S. has a counterterrorism task force based in neighboring Djibouti and has been training Kenyan and Ethiopian forces how to protect their borders.

The Navy's Fifth Fleet also has a maritime task force patrolling in international waters off the Somali coast. The mission of both task forces is to capture or kill al-Qaida elements in the Horn of Africa and will act if given a clear opportunity.

The Islamist debacle continue. The Shiek-Shiek must have come back from Nairobi where he was issuing statements after the initial retreat. Finding the embassy bombers will be a real bonus for the US in the overthrow of the religious bigots. They have evaded justice too long. It will also be another serious blow to al Qaeda and its talking heads in the caves along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Other losers include the Euro weenies who thought resisting the Islamic tide was futile. Many of them are still writing gloom and doom at the UK papers in the belief that a quagmire is just around the corner.


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