US forces consolidate their position in Mogadishu

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MOGADISHU - While US forces consolidated their position at the port and airport of the capital yesterday, two Somalis were killed when the vehicle they were travelling in failed to stop at a roadblock manned by French troops who fired on them last night.

In Washington yesterday Lieutenant-General Martin Brandtner, director of joint military operations, said US forces in Somalia will establish a second airstrip north of Mogadishu today and, as more troops arrive, they will move out to stop fighting in Baidoa and Kismayu. He said US forces would move to the trouble spots 'very quickly'.

Six vehicles belonging to aid agencies were stolen at gunpoint yesterday, and the US force commander has told aid agencies to travel with light weapons, reversing earlier advice to keep their armed guards off the streets.