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Somalia on the Edge

It's back in the news, as Islamic extremists fight U.S. allies and the risk of a regional war in the Horn of Africa grows. Is this the next front in the war on terrorism?

AFP / Getty

A crowd of Somalis beat the body of an Ethiopian soldier as it is dragged in the streets of Somaliaĺs capital on November 8, 2007.

On Oct. 3, 1993, a mob dragged the bodies of two U.S. soldiers through the streets of Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia. The soldiers had been killed in an intense street battle that was later immortalized in the book Black Hawk Down by Mark Bowden. But soon after the firefight, U.S. troops were withdrawn from Somalia, and other places--Afghanistan, Iraq--became known as locations where young American soldiers risked their lives.

They're dragging bodies through the streets of Mogadishu once again. This time the dead men--paraded before a camera phone in November--were not American soldiers but Ethiopian ones. Yet the episode was...

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