TV brings US grim news of Mogadishu: As furious Americans demand a withdrawal, the White House looks for a way out of the conflict in Africa
Had they seen the rest of the footage from Mogadishu, Americans would probably also be calling for Mogadishu to be razed as the US troops pulled out. The footage, obtained by Reuters Television, is too gruesome to be broadcast. It shows the body of a US soldier, stripped naked, lying face down on the earth. Somali gunmen step on to it. They prance and stamp on it, grinning and laughing at the camera and waving their guns. Someone in the crowd brandishes a human limb.
Another shot shows a fire, and in the middle, a blackened bloated thing with a row of teeth. A crowd of Somalis is laughing and cheering. Then the camera cuts to the limp corpse being dragged away by ropes tied to the wrists, in a caricature of crucifixion.
The pictures raise serious questions about the nature of news-gathering in Somalia, especially since the gunmen clearly perform for the camera. No non-Somalis are able to move around in Mogadishu at present, certainly not with cameras. A memorial was held in London this week for four journalists killed by a Somali mob in July.
This week's footage was taken by Issa Mohammed, who used to be a driver for Reuters in Mogadishu. When Reuters pulled out following the deaths of three of their employees, Mr Mohammed was left with a video camera, batteries and tapes. He gives the tapes to UN staff who put them on a military flight to Nairobi. From there the pictures are sent by satellite to Reuters in London.
'He is obviously known to (General Mohammed Farah) Aideed and known to his militia. It obviously suits them to have him there,' said Julian Tarrant of Reuters. 'It's a great propaganda coup for them.' Does that worry Reuters? 'It's no problem to us,' said Mr Tarrant. 'Pictures are better than no pictures. He's doing a grand job.'
WASHINGTON - Representatives of General Aideed said yesterday that Warrant Officer Durrant was safe and was not being held as a shield against further attack, Reuter reports. Kofi Annan, the UN official in charge of peace-keeping forces, said six US soldiers were being held in Somalia.
- 1 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 2 David Cameron refers to 83-year-old Labour MP Dennis Skinner as 'Jurassic Park'
- 3 Alton Towers Air breaks down: 80 people stuck on broken down Monorail during heatwave
- 4 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 5 Alwaleed bin Talal: Saudi Prince to donate entire $32bn fortune to charity
Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
Alwaleed bin Talal: Saudi Prince to donate entire $32bn fortune to charity
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
They are neither a 'state' nor 'Islamic': Why we shouldn't call them Isis, Isil or IS
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you familiar with the sayin...
£6 - £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This care organisation take pride in del...
£6 - £7 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This care organisation take pride in del...
£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...