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Ugandan peacekeeper killed in fresh Mogadishu attack

Monday, September 15, 2008

MOGADISHU (AFP) — An African Union peacekeeper was killed Monday in a roadside bomb explosion in Mogadishu, the second member of the contingent to be killed in the Somali capital in as many days, an AU official told AFP.

"Our soldiers went to an observation post outside our defence positions when an explosive device planted by the roadside went off, killing one of our soldiers and wounding two others," said Baridgye Bahuko, spokesman for the AU mission in Somalia.

"The AU peacekeepers' vehicle was destroyed by a roadside bomb and I saw several of them being retrieved from the wreckage, then they sealed off the area," eyewitness Ibrahim Mohamed told AFP.

A total of eight African Union (AU) peacekeepers have killed in Somalia since March 2007

The incident took place in the southern Mogadishu neighbourhood of Afisiyone and came a day after another Ugandan member of the AU force was killed in an attack by suspected Islamist insurgents.

The latest death brings to eight the total number of AU troops killed in Somalia since the first Ugandan contingent was deployed in March 2007. The Ugandans were reinforced by a Burundian contingent earlier this year.

Ethiopian troops invaded Somalia in 2006 to rescue the embattled western-backed transitional government and oust an Islamist militia that had briefly taken control of large parts of the country.

Islamist armed groups have since reverted to guerilla tactics and are carrying out almost daily attacks against Ethiopian troops, Somali government forces and AU peacekeepers.

SOURCE: AFP, September 15, 2008