Mortar fired at US lawmaker’s plane in Somalia

April 14th, 2009 - 12:04 am ICT by IANS  

Washington/Nairobi, April 13 (DPA) A mortar was fired Monday at the plane of a US congressman as he was taking off from Somalia’s capital, just one day after a US captain was rescued from the grip of pirates off the Somali coast.
Donald Payne, who chairs a legislative subcommittee on Africa, was leaving Mogadishu after meeting with Somali officials and headed to Kenya. His spokeswoman, Kerry McKenny, told CNN that a mortar was fired at the plane as they were leaving the city’s airport, “but they did take off safely”.

US Navy snipers Sunday shot dead three Somali pirates who had been holding US captain Richard Phillips hostage on a lifeboat since Wednesday, following a failed attempt to seize a US cargo vessel.

Some pirate groups had already vowed to avenge their colleagues and to kill any American hostages taken in the future.

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