US bombs Somali warlord's arms cache after attacks: Artillery and armoured vehicles belonging to General Aideed destroyed in retaliation for weekend assault which killed 26 UN peace-keepers

NAIROBI (Agencies) - The United States, reacting to a bloody weekend attack on UN peace-keepers, bombarded arms dumps belonging to Mogadishu's main warlord yesterday.

United Nations military sources in Mogadishu said a large number of artillery pieces and armoured vehicles belonging to the faction led by General Mohamad Farah Aideed had been destroyed in an attack by US Cobra helicopters firing TOW anti- tank missiles on three dumps north of Mogadishu. There was no word on any casualties and no immediate reaction from Gen Aideed or his aides.

According to the UN, fighting broke out in Mogadishu on Saturday when 'blue-helmets' were inspecting an arms depot controlled by Gen Aideed and UN soldiers came under fire. Twenty-six Pakistani soldiers were killed and 50 wounded. Three American soldiers were reported wounded, none critically. Saturday's ambush was the bloodiest in the history of UN peace-keeping.

The Security Council last night unanimously called for the arrest, prosecution and trial of those who killed the UN peace-keepers. Gen Aideed was not mentioned by name in the Council's resolution but the United Nations has accused him of instigating the shootings. Evidently expecting further confrontations the Council, which went into emergency session yesterday, also asked members to contribute heavy armaments including armoured personnel carriers, tanks and attack helicopters.

These were to provide the UN Operation in Somalia (Unosom) with the capability of confronting and deterring armed attacks against it. Pakistan's ambassador, Jamsheed Marker, said the end of the Cold War had seen 'the emergence of petty warlords and dictators'. Events in Somalia, in Bosnia and elsewhere were 'testimony to the murderous length to which these international thugs are prepared to go in order to maintain their regimes of greed, terror and oppression'. But he said Pakistan would continue contributing peace-keepers in Somalia or elsewhere.

The Italian Defence Ministry reported yesterday that Mogadishu was 'getting back to normal'. Italian troops rescued the Pakistani and US soldiers trapped in the fighting.

Relief workers evacuated from Somalia after the gunbattles arrived in neighbouring Kenya yesterday. A group of 149 non-essential civilian staff, working mainly with the United Nations, told reporters waiting at Nairobi international airport that the Somali capital was quiet but 'very, very tense'. Some relief workers criticised the UN mission for failing to anticipate the violence. 'Something like this was bound to happen,' said James McKindrick of Save the Children Fund. 'The UN handled the whole situation navely. They did not read the signs or notice the creeping tension in the city. Now we do not know what will happen next.'

UN sources said the UN had decided to cut its relief work by half and more staff would be ferried to Kenya over the next few hours. One relief worker said that Somali gunmen loyal to Gen Aideed had vowed to launch more attacks if Pakistani troops returned to the streets of the capital. They said the remainder of Pakistan's 4,750 contingent to the 30-nation multinational force in the country had been confined to barracks.

Speaking at the UN, the US ambassador, Madeleine Albright, said the United States was 'totally outraged' by the attack on the UN forces. 'We consider this incomprehensible and unacceptable,' she said.

According to a UN report given to the Security Council from retired Admiral Jonathan Howe, the civilian head of Unosom, violence broke out in several areas around Mogadishu after UN forces found a weapons cache at a radio transmission centre owned by Gen Aideed's followers. Gen Aideed was told of the inspections 24 hours in advance and did not object. The report said demonstrations and armed attacks appeared to be a 'calculated, premeditated series of major ceasefire violations meant to challenge and intimidate' the UN forces.

'Circumstantially, it would appear (Gen Aideed) was responsible,' Admiral Howe said in Mogadishu. 'The world will not tolerate this, and they will provide us with the resources necessary to stop this.' The UN Secretary-General, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, speaking in Tunis, urged that 'firm action be taken against the perpetrators'.

A US-led multinational force arrived in Mogadishu in December to protect relief supplies intended for victims of Somalia's civil war and famine, which killed an estimated 350,000 people last year. The US handed control of the operation to the UN last month and has withdrawn most of its troops. Pakistan now has the largest force there, with about 4,800 soldiers. The US has the second largest force, with about 4,100 troops.

Suggested Topics
Sport
footballLIVE City face Stoke, while Warnock returns to Palace dugout
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
gadgets + techSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
News
Paul McCartney backs the
people
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind the scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
News
i100
News
The slice of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding cake and the original box from 29 July 1981
newsPiece of Charles and Diana's wedding cake sold at auction in US
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

C# .NET Web Developer (ASP.NET, JavaScript, jQuery, XML, XLST)

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Web De...

Clinical Negligence Solicitor

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: HAMPSHIRE MARKET TOWN - A highly attr...

Network Engineer (CCNP, CCNA, Linux, OSPF, BGP, Multicast, WAN)

£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Network Engineer (CCNP, CCNA, Linux, OSPF,...

Commercial Property Solicitor - Bristol

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: A VERY HIGH QUALITY FIRM A high qual...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone