Mine kills American

MOGADISHU (Reuter) - An American civilian working for the US Department of Army died and three State Department security officers were wounded when their vehicle hit an anti-tank mine near the Somali town of Bardera yesterday.

They were the first casualties among personnel involved in the US-led armed intervention in Somalia. Their vehicle hit a mine just north of the town's dirt airstrip, the chief US military spokesman, Col Fred Peck said.

It illustrated the risks that 1,000 marines could face when they enter the town tomorrow, after a 90-mile journey south from Baidoa through an area littered with mines and flooded by heavy rains.

The wounded were taken by helicopter to the amphibious assault ship Tripoli off Mogadishu.

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