US Crackdown in Somalia

UNITED States troops, vowing to get tougher on armed factions in Somalia, killed a Somali gunman outside Mogadishu hours after killing another gunman in the capital.

The shooting brought to at least eight the number of Somalis killed by the US-led multinational task force since Marines began pouring into Mogadishu on Dec. 9.

In another sign of US resolve to crack down, special envoy Robert Oakley said in Washington Tuesday that the US was about to step up efforts to collect heavy weapons from armed factions in Somalia in a bid to wrest power from warlords.

A US military spokesman, Marine Col. Fred Peck, said Tuesday some Mogadishu residents were becoming more brazen toward the foreign troops and less awed by them. There has been an increase in incidents such as attempts to board military vehicles and pilfer from them, he said.

Troops involved in Operation Restore Hope now number almost 30,000. More than two thirds of them are American.

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