Release of 15 U.S. Soldiers in Southern Region Underway -Yemen Paper

Reports that more than 11 US soldiers were seized by Somalia’s routed Islamists in southern Somalia are once again surfacing.

According to Al-nedaa, a newspaper based in Yemen, the Islamic Courts Executive Council leader, Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed, has told the newspaper that his release by the Americans and Kenyan authority in Nairobi came after negotiations were made over the discharge of 15 US marines in the hands of the fugitive Islamists in south of the country.

Islamist groups based in some unidentified Arab countries are reportedly arbitrating the US agents in East Africa and the Union of Islamists over the release of the American soldiers.

Sources close Sheik Sharif say that Sheik Ahmed stipulated the discharge of US captives with the condition that he should have his own freedom on which the, sources said, the US agreed.

The sources said at least 15 American soldiers were seized after they landed on the ground around Raskamboni near the Kenyan border where the US warplanes were striking.

The paper said during the capture, four US soldiers were wounded.

Sheik Sharif said the deal he made with the US would be implemented next week.

The Americans were also convinced that the leaders of Islamists should be given the chance to play affective roles in the national reconciliation conference due to be held in Somalia to achieve a broad based government.

The US resorted to the Islamist groups in Arab countries which had links with Somalia’s Islamists after it found out US soldiers were captured in southern Somalia.

Al-nedaa said Yemeni government is also mediating the US and sheik Sharif. Yemen would hand over Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed back to US in Nairobi if negotiations to release the soldiers fail.

Also see:
US diplomat bids the release of 11 US soldiers seized in Somalia