The Death of Aarone
|21 March 93
It took us most of the day to get back to Beled
Weyne. Upon returning, we find that there is much more to the story
of the death of the Somali who died in 2 Commando's custody a few days
ago. Apparently he was found outside the wire, thrown in and
interrogated for a couple of hours before he died. MCpl
Matchee was in charge at the time and he is going to be charged
with murder one or manslaughter. An SIU (special investigations
unit) team is flying over to investigate.
Matchee was taken into custody and held in one of the bunkers which was
turned into an impromptu jail cell. He took some wire from the phone
and tried to hang himself with it. They found him before he died,
but he is now drifting in and out of a coma in Mogadishu. He should
live, but who knows what damage he has done.
The killing in town of the ICRC guard was apparently justified.
The Somalis were protesting the hiring of Mogadishu drivers for the food
convoy we escorted. An ICRC guard fired rounds into the crowd,
probably thinking he was helping matters. The rounds nearly hit a 2
commando patrol who returned fire, killing the guard. It has been quite
22 March 93
I left camp for village sweeps at eight this morning. The first
village we searched was Maxamend Xasan. Immediately we started
finding ordnance. By the time we finished searching, we had found a
106 mm round, about 40 french anti-personnel mines, all armed, 800
81 mm mortar rounds, 145 TM-45 and 17 PRB-M3 anti-tank mines. We
reported this back to headquarters and sat down to wait for the engineers
to arrive to destroy the weapons.
While we were waiting, a village elder showed us another cache of
PRB-M3 and TM-46 mines.
After the engineers had checked for booby traps and gathered up all of
the mines and rounds, we took them out into the hills to blow them.
They were all laid in a massive pile and packed with C4 plastic
explosives. Then from 500 meters away we watched the show.
When it went off there was a huge red and black fireball. The blast
wave spread out in a growing circle until it hit us and nearly knocked me
off of the carrier. The fireball rose and formed a mushroom
cloud. It was all very cool, just like a small nuclear blast.
It was too late to continue with our village
sweeps, so we headed down just south of Halgen to set up our road block
for the night. Not long after we set up, an MRT vehicle came flying
over the crest of the hill towing a 1 Commando vehicle. He didn't
even attempt to stop. I guess he figured he could just go straight
through roadblocks. He ended up running over the
dragon's teeth and spent the rest of the night repairing six flat tires.
We only stopped nine vehicles through the night, but found three
pistols and two AK's. I screwed up though. No-one was looking
when I found a small Berretta pistol. I could have easily pocketed
it. I wasn't thinking though and turned it in, stupid.
23 March 93
We closed down the roadblock at six this morning
and headed out on a route recce. We spent the day travelling down
tracks that should have been marked impassable. At one point while
crossing a wadi, we nearly rolled, then got stuck and blew the seal on two
of our tires. I cracked my head against the top of the carrier so
hard, I gave myself a concussion and thought that I had cracked my
At eleven we stopped to fire off the ammo from the captured weapons,
then continued with our recce. We swept the town of Nuur Fanax for
weapons, then started heading back to Beled Weyne. On the way, we
came across an overturned bus with many injured. We stopped to help,
bandaging and splinting the wounded and preparing them for transport
back to the hospital. We could not transport them back in our
vehicles, so we stopped another Somali bus to ask the driver for
help. He refused to help without payment, so we told him we would
shoot him if he left the injured people. He had a sudden change of
We will take over garrison duty once again in the morning and I will be back
in the canteen.