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Somali PM Survives Second Assassination Attempt

Security guards injured in an attack on the Somali prime minister's convoy Sunday in Mogadishu are being sent to neighboring Kenya for medical treatment. Officials say the latest attack, which killed five people, proves that it is not safe for the fledgling government to locate in the capital.

The coordinator of Somali affairs in Kenya, Mohamed Ali Nur Americo, told reporters in Nairobi his government is caring for those injured in an attack in the Somali capital Mogadishu that took place one day before.

"The prime minister and the transitional federal government are sending their condolences to the families and the loved ones who died in this horrible attack and those who were injured," said Mr. Americo. "At this moment, [a] medical evacuation plane is on its way to Mogadishu in order to bring the injured ones to Kenya for medical purpose[s]."

Explosions ripped through a convoy carrying Somali Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi during a visit to the capital Sunday to meet with members of parliament. Media reports indicate a remote-controlled bomb and grenade caused the explosions. Mr. Gedi escaped unhurt.

A U.N. statement termed the attack an assassination attempt against Mr. Gedi, and said that the violence is an assault on the peace process to end 14 years of civil war in Somalia.

The African Union issued a similar statement condemning the attack, calling for Somalis to avoid using violence as they reconstruct their country.

Somali factional leaders, civil society representatives and others had gathered in Kenya for more than two years to negotiate an end to the Somalia civil war that began with the ouster of former leader Siad Bare in 1991. The peace process concluded late last year with the selection of a transitional government.

But the government quickly became divided over where to relocate from its base in Kenya. Mr. Gedi, Somali president Abdullahi Yusuf, and others chose to move to Jowhar, about 90 kilometers north of Mogadishu, saying that the capital is too unsafe.

The speaker of parliament and other members, meanwhile, relocated to Mogadishu, arguing that the city is safe and that the seat of government should be in the capital.

The coordinator of Somali affairs in Kenya, Mr. Americo told reporters he thinks Sunday's attack is proof that Mogadishu is not a safe place for the government to relocate.