300 Al-Shabaab militants flee as AU force grows

Feb 23, 2012 Full story: The Daily Star

NAIROBI: A year ago, Somalia's government controlled only a small slice of its capital.

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Since: Feb 12


#1 Feb 24, 2012
For the latest news on whats happening log on to www.connectkenya.info

“Marriage=Love+Co mmitment.....”

Since: Oct 07

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#3 Feb 25, 2012
NBC News wrote:
By NBC News and news services

NBC News and The Associated Press contributed to this story.
STOP spamming a false report whoever you are, or you will soon be headed for a banning from Topix.

The actual NBC report.

Alex Witt reports.
By NBC News and news services
Updated at 1:26 p.m. ET: ABBOTTABAD, Pakistan -- Crews on Saturday began demolishing the compound where al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. forces in May, eliminating a concrete reminder of the painful and embarrassing chapter in the country's history.

Two residents told The Associated Press the government brought in three mechanized backhoes Saturday afternoon and began destroying the tall outer walls of the three-story compound after sunset. They set up floodlights so they could work after dark.

The residents spoke on condition of anonymity because they were afraid of being harassed by government authorities.

A senior Pakistani government official later told NBC News the compound was "80 percent demolished."

Future plans for the lot include the construction of "a nice park" -- with green areas and benches -- that will be built "within a month," a senior government official told NBC News.

The demolition team conducted its work under heavy security. A large team of police set up an outer cordon around the compound to keep spectators away, said an Associated Press reporter who managed to get close enough to see the demolition work under way.

Sultan Mehmood / EPA

Workers on Saturday demolish the compound where Osama bin Laden was killed, in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
A ring of army soldiers set up an inner cordon and warmed themselves against the winter chill by lighting a bonfire.

The backhoes broke through tall outer boundary walls that ringed a courtyard where one of the U.S. helicopters crashed during the operation to kill the al-Qaida chief. They then began to tear down the compound itself.

Earlier, several Pakistani soldiers arrived in the area and moved heavy machinery near the building, fueling rumors of an imminent demolition, local residents in Bilal town in Abbottabad district told NBC News.

Some residents said Pakistani security forces and police were already deployed in the area to stop people trying to go toward the compound. But, they said, fresh contingents of troops arrived and cordoned it off from all sides Saturday evening.

One resident said power supply to the city had been suspended and all routes to the area blocked by the security forces.

The compound has been a painful reminder for Pakistan, which was embarrassed by the unilateral U.S. operation that killed bin Laden.

Residents of the normally sleepy town of Abbottabad were divided on what the government should do with the compound in the aftermath of the raid. Some thought it should be destroyed, but others believed it should be turned into a tourist attraction to help the town earn money. There was always the danger, however, that it could also draw al-Qaida supporters.

American officials said they buried bin Laden's body at sea to avoid giving his followers a burial place that could become a makeshift shrine.

Many U.S. officials expressed disbelief that bin Laden could have lived in Abbottabad for around six years without the Pakistani government knowing. But the U.S. has not found any evidence that senior Pakistani officials knew the al-Qaida chief's whereabouts.

The U.S. did not give Pakistan advance warning of the raid, which lasted about 40 minutes, because it was worried someone in the country's military or shadowy intelligence agency would tip off bin Laden.

The operation was a serious blow to the already troubled U.S.-Pakistan relationship. Pakistan responded to the raid by kicking out more than 100 U.S. troops training Pakistanis in counterterrorism operations and reduced the level of intelligence cooperation.

Since: Feb 12


#4 Feb 25, 2012
How the army are selling weapons to alshaabab.... www.connectkenya.info

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