Mogadishu, Tuesday.

WARLORD Mohamed Farah Aideed is using captured American soldiers as

human shields, a Somali journalist claimed today.

The United Nations has reported six US servicemen missing and possibly

captured in a two-day battle in the capital Mogadishu which killed at

least 12 American peacekeepers and one Malaysian.

Abdulkadir Abdi Gutale, who writes for the pro-Aideed newspaper Qaran,

said he was told by senior Aideed men that his militia has eight


He said they were being kept close to Aideed to ward off further

attempts to seize him to face charges of ordering a massacre of 24

Pakistani peacekeepers in June.

Aideed's followers gloated over UN losses yesterday, parading at least

two American corpses through the streets.

American helicopter pilot Michael Duran was also seen around the world

bloodied, dishevelled, and being questioned by his captors, in a video

from a Somali cameraman.

His Black Hawk helicopter was one of two shot down in the weekend

fighting in which at least a score of Somalis died and some 500 were


Aideed's men also hold a Nigerian soldier captured last month. The Red

Cross visited him over the weekend and described his condition as good.

In another development, the UN reported a Belgian officer serving with

peacekeeping forces near the southern port of Kismayu had been killed

today. But this was denied by the Belgian Government which said the UN

was probably referring to the weekend death of a Belgian soldier.

The loss of 72 UN peacekeepers in three months has raised fresh alarm

about the objectives and prospects of what began as a humanitarian

mission and has turned into a guerrilla war in Somalia's ruined capital.

Malaysian Defence Minister Najib Razak said today that the UN was

putting ''too much emphasis on military action -- like it was an


US President Bill Clinton told reporters in San Francisco yesterday

that if American prisoners were harmed ''the United States -- not the

United Nations, the United States -- will view this matter very gravely

and take appropriate action''.

Clinton is sending four M-1A tanks, 14 armoured vehicles, two AC-130

flying gunships, and 200 extra troops to Somalia to strengthen the 4500

US troops serving with the UN's 27,000-strong force.

Tonight the pictures of American corpses being dragged through the

streets and the filmed interrogation of pilot Duran brought an outcry in

the US Congress.

Twenty-five House of Representatives members and several senators,

most of them Republicans, called either for an immediate pull-out or for

Clinton to complete the US mission in Somalia quickly and get troops


''Enough is enough,'' said Toby Roth, a Republican from Wisconsin.

''No more American prisoners. No more American dead soldiers being

dragged through the streets.''

Aideed, in a broadcast from his hidden radio station heard by the

Italian news agency Ansa, declared: ''Sending more forces and weapons to

the country on the part of the United Nations will not serve peace but

worsen the situation.''