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Updated: May 17, 2010 16:01 IST

26 die after attack on Somali parliament

IANS
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The newly appointed acting speaker Haji Shugri Sheikh Ahmed speaks after he was elected as the new acting speaker of the Somali parliament in Mogadishu on Sunday . A medical official says 16 civilians have been killed during fighting in the Somali capital between Islamic insurgents and government forces backed by African Union troops. Photo: AP.
The newly appointed acting speaker Haji Shugri Sheikh Ahmed speaks after he was elected as the new acting speaker of the Somali parliament in Mogadishu on Sunday . A medical official says 16 civilians have been killed during fighting in the Somali capital between Islamic insurgents and government forces backed by African Union troops. Photo: AP.

At least 26 people have died in the Somali capital Mogadishu after insurgents attacked the parliament building, an official said on Monday.

Islamist insurgent group al—Shabaab, which is battling to topple the weak Western—backed government, shelled parliament as lawmakers met for the first time this year on Sunday.

African Union peacekeepers protecting the lawmakers responded by firing back into Bakara Market, an Islamist stronghold.

“It was one of the deadliest shellings, because we discovered 26 dead bodies in few hours and dozen others wounded,” Ali Muse, head of Mogadishu’s ambulance service, told DPA.

Many Somali members of parliament live abroad — a significant number in Nairobi, the capital of neighbouring Kenya — due to safety concerns.

Somalia has not had an effective central government since dictator Mohamed Siad Barre was ousted in 1991.

Keywords: Insurgency

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