452 U.N. PEACEKEEPERS LEAVE SOMALIA - The Buffalo News
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452 U.N. PEACEKEEPERS LEAVE SOMALIA

The U.N. withdrawal from Somalia proceeded Sunday with the departure of 452 Pakistani peacekeepers.

That left 7,498 peacekeepers, mostly from Bangladesh and Egypt.

They are expected to leave the East African nation before the mandate for the U.N. mission expires March 31.

The United Nations said the port in Mogadishu will be closed to commercial operations from Feb. 26 to March 6, apparently for the final departure of U.N. personnel.

Nearly all private aid agencies also are pulling out in fear of renewed fighting after the departure of U.N. personnel between clans loyal to Mogadishu's main warlords, Mohamed Farah Aidid and Ali Mahdi Mohamed.

Four American warships are off the Somali coast. Some of the 3,000 Marines aboard are expected ashore the first week of March.

Two warships from France and Italy also are stationed in the Indian Ocean off Mogadishu, and Britain is sending a destroyer.

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