Somali workers besiege Britons

About 200 Somalis, some armed, blockaded British mine- clearance experts of the Rimfire company at a compound in the north-western city of Hargeisa yesterday and demanded money to let them leave, aid workers said, Reuter reports from Mogadishu.

The former militiamen, known as 'Pioneers', are local Rimfire employees demanding a fivefold pay rise to dollars 1,000 ( pounds 690) a month, plus January wages, despite being on strike for the past six weeks. In London, officials said 13 Britons were working for Rimfire in north-west Somalia.