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Somali lawmaker shot dead in Mogadishu

June 19, 2009

MOGADISHU, June 19 (Xinhua) -- Five people including a Somali lawmaker were killed on Friday in fierce battle between Somali government forces and Islamist fighters in the north of the capital Mogadishu, officials and witnesses said.

"Mohamed Hussein Addow was among a number of people killed in this afternoon's fighting with the anti-peace elements. The parliamentarian was at his home when he was killed," Abdelfatah Shawey, deputy Mogadishu mayor, told Xinhua.

 Witnesses said four more people were also killed in the fighting in Karan district in the north of the Somali capital where insurgent commanders claim control, but Somali officials deny the saying, insisting that fighting continues between the two sides.

 Addow, an ally of Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, was the fourth senior Somali government official to be killed in as many days.

 On Thursday, Somali National Security Minister Omar Hashi Aden was killed in a suicide car bomb attack that also killed former Somali ambassador to Ethiopia, as well as dozens of the officials' entourage, community elders and onlookers.

 Mogadishu police chief Ali Said was among the 17 people killed in Wednesday's fighting in the south of the capital city.

President Sharif on Thursday appealed for international help in the fight against what he said were international terrorists who he accused of wanting to turn Somalia into "a terrorist safe haven."

Somali government forces have been battling with fighters of the radical Islamist groups of Al-Shabaab and Hezbul Islam, which control most of southern and central of Somalia and want to rule the war-torn east African country by the Islamic law.

More than 200 people have died with nearly 500 others wounded since the start of the fighting for the control of Mogadishu in May. Thousands have been forced to flee from their homes in the battered capital.

Somalia, a country of 9 million, has been without an effective central government since the overthrow of the late ruler Mohamed Siyad Barre in 1991.

SOURCE: Xinhua, June 19, 2009