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Mortars Wound 11 At U.N. Compound

September 15, 1993

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) _ Gunmen fired mortars into the headquarters compound of the U.N. peacekeeping force in Mogadishu today, wounding 11 people, including an American officer.

Those hit in the mid-morning attack suffered light injuries, said U.S. Army Capt. Jonathan Dahms, a peacekeeping force spokesman.

He said U.N. forces fired back, but other U.N. officials said later that report was incorrect.

Dahms said three or four mortars were fired at buildings housing a U.N. procurement office and a mess hall for Norwegian peacekeepers. The mess hall was slightly damaged.

The identity of the attackers was not known, but followers of Somali warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid have staged a series of attacks on U.N. forces that have killed 48 peacekeepers and injured more than 175.

Besides the American, those wounded today were two Norwegian and two Pakistani peacekeepers, three civilian U.N. employees and three Somali workers.

Dahms said the American captain and the Norwegians were hit with shrapnel in the legs. He could not describe the injuries to the others.

The United Nations has 25,000 troops from 28 nations in Somalia. They took over last May from a U.S.-led coalition that arrived in Somalia in December to protect food shipments in a land wracked by famine, civil war and anarchy.

More than 350,000 Somalis died in 1992 from hunger, disease and warfare.

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