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Somalia Violence Kills 2 Soldiers, 2 Aid Workers


A roadside bomb has killed two soldiers and wounded several civilians in Somalia's war-torn capital.

Witnesses say the bomb Thursday targeted a military convoy in northern Mogadishu. There are conflicting reports on whether soldiers killed were Somalis or Ethiopians. At least four civilians were wounded in the blast.

A Somali Islamic militant group, the Mujahideen Youth Movement, claimed responsibility for the attack on its Web site.

Insurgents have stepped up their attacks on Somalia's transitional government and its Ethiopian military allies in recent weeks.

In separate violence, two Somalis working for the International Medical Corps relief agency were killed late Wednesday in El-Berde, 400 kilometers northwest of the capital.

IMC officials say doctor Mohamed Muse Ali and his driver were shot by unidentified gunmen. The reason for the attack is not clear.

Earlier this week, Somalia's trade minister and former defense minister escaped assassination attempts. Two other people were killed.

The government hopes to restore calm with a national reconciliation conference now scheduled to start on July 15. The conference has been postponed three times this year by organizational and funding problems.

Somalia has not had an effective central government since 1991.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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