Somalia, now in the grip of famine, is also remembered as the scene of the "Black Hawk Down" incident, in which two U.S. helicopters were destroyed and 18 American soldiers killed in 1993. One of the crash sites is in a part of Mogadishu that until recently was controlled by the Islamic militant group al-Shabab.
The remains of one of the Black Hawks lies in a rundown and overgrown lane near Mogadishu’s now deserted Bakara Market.
|The Bakara market in Mogadishu use to be a bustling center of commerce in the Somali capital. But that was before the al-Shabab militants moved into the area. Gabe Joselow filed this report from the scene.|
A group of Somali soldiers escorting journalists on a tour of the largely destroyed neighborhood were able to locate the site, which is now overrun by huge cactus plants.
At first it was impossible to see any sign of the choppers amid the growth and rubble. But soon the searchers - government soldiers and security personnel - were able to point out the rotor hub and one of the blades almost hidden among the cactus.
The “Black Hawk Down” incident came at a time when Somalia was gripped by famine. Eighteen years later, the international community is once again descending on Somalia to try to save the victims of the latest human tragedy.