U.S. warships bombarded a remote, mountainous village where Islamic militants had set up a base, officials in the northern Somali region of Puntland said today.
The attack from a U.S. destroyer took place late Friday, said Muse Gelle, the regional governor. The extremists had arrived Wednesday by speedboat at the port town of Bargal.
A local radio station quoted Puntland’s leader, Ade Muse, as saying that his forces had battled with the extremists for hours before the U.S. ships arrived and used their cannons.
Somalia’s U.N.-backed transitional government was sidelined by a radical Islamic group until Ethiopia’s military intervened in December and turned the tide. Insurgents linked to the Islamic group have vowed to wage an Iraq-style guerrilla war, saying the government is allowing Ethiopia to occupy the country.
Military bears down on refugee camp
Lebanese tanks and armored vehicles battled their way into the outer neighborhoods of a Palestinian refugee camp Friday in some of the heaviest fighting since violence broke out between the military and al-Qaida-inspired militants nearly two weeks ago.
The military demanded the Fatah Islam fighters holed up in the Nahr el-Bared camp in northern Lebanon surrender and promised to pursue them if they didn’t.
Two Lebanese soldiers were killed and 10 wounded in Friday’s fighting, according to security officials. They said a unit of Fatah Islam militants was destroyed.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
U.S. pilots indicted in fatal air crash
A federal judge indicted two U.S. pilots and four Brazilian air traffic controllers on manslaughter-related charges Friday in Brazil’s worst air disaster, court officials said.
Judge Murilo Mendes accepted the charges filed by a prosecutor last week in a federal court in Sinop, a small city near the Amazon jungle site where a Boeing jetliner last year plunged into the rain forest after a collision with an executive jet. All 154 people aboard the jetliner died, while the executive jet landed safely.
Pilots Joseph Lepore, 42, of Bay Shore, N.Y., and Jan Paladino, 34, of Westhampton Beach, N.Y., were charged with exposing an aircraft to danger resulting in death.
A lawyer for the pilots said the charges were unfounded.