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Tue, Aug 01, 2006

Commercial Airline Service Returns To Somalia

Militia Said To Be Preserving Peace

Mogadishu, the capital of war-torn Somalia, is a much different place than it was in the days of "Black Hawk Down" more than a dozen years ago.

So much so, in fact, that the international airport on the outskirts of the city is open and Sunday... Jubba Airways flew the first commercial flight from that strip in more than a decade.

"This is a historic flight for me," passenger Hawa Abdi Hussein said before boarding a plane to the United Arab Emirates. "I think we at last gained peace and security."

Now, don't thank the government... which is seen by most as all but powerless. Instead, reports the Associated Press, peace has been restored by an Islamic militia which now guards the airport... keeping passengers safe.

Flights have been going in and out of smaller airstrips in Somalia for years... but efforts to reopen the big airport have repeatedly failed.

The Islamists seized power in last month's national elections.



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