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Ambassador Says Washington 'Wrongly Blamed' for Fighting in Mogadishu


A top U.S. diplomat is rejecting claims that Washington has fomented deadly violence in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu.

In a letter published in Kenya's Daily Nation newspaper Tuesday, Ambassador William Bellamy acknowleged the United States has encouraged Somalians to reject militants who support al-Qaida.

But Bellamy, the U.S. ambassador to Kenya, said some news reports have "wrongly blamed" the United States for fueling the recent violence in Mogadishu that killed at least 150 people.

Officials from Somalia's interim government have accused the U.S. of funding warlords fighting Islamic militias for control of Mogadishu.

Bellamy's letter did not address the alleged U.S. support for the warlords. The ambassador said Washington has offered moral and diplomatic support to the interim government, and food aid to Somalians suffering from the current drought.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.
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