From: michael seium (email@example.com)
Date: Mon Apr 13 2009 - 12:34:09 EDT
April 13, 2009
Spokeswoman: Rep. Payne's plane fired on in
Posted: 10:48 AM ET
*(CNN) — *A plane carrying U.S. Rep. Donald Payne was fired on at the
airport in Mogadishu, Somalia, but the plane and its passengers appear to
have departed safely, a spokeswoman for the congressman said Monday.
"We understand that his plane was fired on and, as he left, we understand
that a mortar landed on his plane, but that they have left safely and that
no one was hurt," said Kerry McKenney, the spokeswoman in his Washington
office, citing police officers at the airport as her source. "We are hoping
that he's safe and on his way back home."
The New Jersey Democrat and chairman of the Subcommittee on Africa and
Global Health was visiting Somalia because "he felt it was important to
travel there to see first-hand what was happening," McKenney said.
His original plans had been to fly from Somalia to Nairobi, Kenya, and then
return to the United States, she said. "I don't know whether they have
changed, but I hope to be hearing from the congressman shortly," she told
CNN in a telephone interview.
Earlier Monday, a journalist in Mogadishu said mortar rounds and gunfire
were heard near the airport shortly after Payne ended a news conference with
Somalia's prime minister, Omar Abdirashid.
Payne left the United States for Djibouti on April 9. He was hoping to spend
four to five hours in Mogadishu at the conclusion of the trip to meet with
both Somalia's prime minister and members of the African Union, McKenney
The African Union is an organization promoting greater integration and
cooperation among various African countries.
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