US sends arms to Somalia to thwart insurgents

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The United States has sent weapons to the government of Somalia to thwart a takeover of the Horn of Africa nation by Islamist rebels with suspected ties to al Qaeda.
“A decision was made at the highest level to ensure the government does not fall and that everything is done to strengthen government security forces to counter the rebels,” an unnamed US official stated yesterday.
The shipment of weapons and ammunition arrived this month in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, Reuter`s reports.
US and Somali officials say that possibly hundreds of fighters from Afghanistan, Pakistan and other nations are fighting alongside the Islamist group known as al Shabaab, which Washington has designated a terrorist group.
US officials have accused Eritrea of sending weapons to the rebels, who have taken over much of Mogadishu and southern Somalia.
Washington has long worried that Somalia could become a base for al Qaeda to launch terrorist attacks such as the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
Somalia and Yemen have seen expanded militancy and are gaining prominence as sanctuaries for al Qaeda, which is under pressure in its Pakistan enclaves.
 Hard-line Islamists allied to al Qaeda killed Somali Security Minister Omar Hashi Aden and 30 others in the deadliest suicide bomb attack yet in Somalia.