Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Somali leader 'seeks Iraq victory'
LONDON, 25 MARCH 2003--The president of Somalia's transitional government has condemned the United States-led attack on Iraq as naked aggression. Abdulkassim Salat Hassan said he was praying for an Iraqi victory.

Somalia has denied repeated accusations that it is harbouring members of the al-Qaeda network.

Elsewhere in Africa, anti-war demonstrations have continued:

In the Mauritanian capital Nouakchott, at least 20,000 people took to the streets to demonstrate outside the United States embassy.
In Tunisia and Mozambique, thousands attended peaceful rallies against the war.
Police in the Senegalese capital, Dakar used tear gas to disperse students from outside the US embassy.
The leader of Djibouti, where the US has set up an anti-terror base, has also condemned the war, saying a pre-planned war cannot be justified by self-defence.
Students in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, have held three days of protests.
Since the 11 September 2001 attacks on the United States, the Somali leader has strenuously denied accusations that his government has links to Islamic radicals.

He said the US was free to look for al-Qaeda members in Somalia.

Last week, an alleged al-Qaeda operative was taken from Somalia to Kenya, reportedly with help from the FBI, in connection with recent terror attacks in East Africa.

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