US to pull out despite riots

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The Independent Online
MOGADISHU (Reuter) - The US military said yesterday it was going ahead with delayed plans to withdraw 3,000 troops from Somalia despite riots and gun battles that have rocked Mogad ishu in the past four days.

But about 1,000 troops, now deployed in the southern city of Kismayu where rival militias fought on Monday, would remain for some time, said Ed Loomis, an army captain.

Earlier yesterday, a US military spokesman, Col Fred Peck, said the troop withdrawal was on schedule 'despite events in the past 72 hours'. He was referring to violent protests in Mogadishu by supporters of Mohamed Farah Aideed, who accused the American-led forces in Somalia of backing his rival, Mohamed Said Hersi Morgan. The US military denies the charge.