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Somali lawmaker shot dead in Mogadishu

08-01-2011 16:38 BJT

MOGADISHU, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- Unidentified gunmen late on Sunday night shot dead a Somali lawmaker as he left a mosque in Mogadishu, state radio said.

Two masked men armed with pistols shot Khalif Jire Warfa several times in the chest before fleeing the scene and the lawmaker died on the spot, Ali Hersi Barre, a senior police commander, told state-run radio Mogadishu.

The police have cordoned off the area around Marwas Mosque in Mogadishu's business district of Hamarweyne in search of the perpetrator.

Although no group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack, police commander Barre said that the killing was carried by Islamist rebels after they have been defeated in recent days by government forces on the battle fields in Mogadishu and other provinces controlled by the radical al Shabaab group.

"It is a desperate act by the anti-peace elements who were defeated by the national armed forces in the past days in Mogadishu and elsewhere. That is very clear," Barre told Radio Mogadishu.

Islamist group al Shabab, which has not so far commented in the assassination of the government official, is waging deadly insurgency against government forces and allied African Union peacekeeping troops in Mogadishu.

The militant group which allegedly has links to al Qaida has carried out similar attacks against government officials in the past. The group uses suicide bombers, roadside explosives and assassinations tactics similar to other al Qaida inspired groups in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Somali has not had an effective central government as the horn of African country has been embroiled in civil strife sine the ouster of the late Somali ruler Mohamed Siyad Barre in 1991.

The internationally recognised but weak Somali government control parts of the capital Mogadishu and other areas in the south of the country while Islamist insurgents run much of the south and center of Somalia.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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