Marines' mission

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The Independent Online
A force of 350 US Marines landed in Somalia at the request of civic leaders who sought their help in humanitarian relief efforts, Reuter reports from Tokyo.

'It is not a military operation,' said Sandy Berger, deputy White House national security adviser. 'It's a civic action . . . done at the request of civic leaders.' The Marines would be there for a few days to repair bridges and provide local assistance.