Nigeria Bombards Sierra Leone

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FREETOWN, Sierra Leone: At least seven people died in fighting as Nigeria ratcheted up its attempt to break the will of coup leaders in Sierra Leone by bombarding the port capital of Freetown and setting up de facto headquarters at the beachfront Mammy Yoko Hotel. Monday's surprise daylight attack from the sea apparently was timed to follow this weekend's evacuation of some 1,200 foreign residents by U.S. Marine helicopters. But the attack spurred coup leaders to retaliate against the Nigerian-held hotel, wounding six Nigerian solders and forcing into the basement hundreds more international residents who had been left behind by the weekend rescue. No civilian casualties from the hotel have been reported. Troops commanded by coup leader Major Johnny Paul Koroma, outmanned and outgunned by the Nigerians, are deserting their posts. Meanwhile, Koroma continues to resist the negotiated cease-fire supported by the U.S. and other nations.