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Germans under fire

A German military vehicle was shot at in Mogadishu, the Somali capital - the first time that members of the German UN contingent had been directly threatened since arriving in Somalia more than six months ago, writes Steve Crawshaw in Bonn.

Four men jumped out, and opened fire on the vehicle at close range. The car, which had UN markings, was hit nine times, but the two occupants were not injured. The driver accelerated away and reached the UN headquarters safely. According to the terms of the Germans' mandate, they are not used in any operation where they might need to shoot back. The German cabinet has agreed that the country's 1,700 troops will be withdrawn next March.