January 02, 2007



January 2, 2007 -- MOGADISHU, Somalia - Fighters belonging to a militant Islamist movement fled into a rugged, forested corner of Somalia from rapidly advancing government forces yesterday, and the prime minister offered amnesty if they were to surrender.
Regional diplomats worked to arrange the speedy deployment of African peacekeepers to help the interim government establish its authority in the country, which has known only anarchy for 15 years.
As the last remaining stronghold of the Islamic group was overrun by government troops backed by Ethiopian tanks and MiG fighter jets, the net began closing on suspected al Qaeda militants believed to be sheltered by the hard-line group.
Sea routes from southern Somalia were also being patrolled by the U.S. Navy, hunting for three al Qaeda suspects believed to be among the Islamic group and wanted for the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa.
Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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