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Burundian Peacekeepers Killed in Mogadishu Attack


The African Union says 11 troops from Burundi were killed Sunday when insurgents attacked an AU peacekeeping base in Somalia's capital.

A statement from AU Commission Chairman Jean Ping says another 15 peacekeepers sustained serious injuries. Ping condemned the attack.

Circumstances of the attack remain unclear. The hardline Islamist group al-Shabab says it sent two suicide bombers into the compound, one on foot, one in a car. AU officials say the base was hit by mortar shells.

Violence is still common in Mogadishu, despite a recent peace deal that led to moderate Islamists joining the government.

Hardline groups like al-Shabab rejected the deal, and have vowed to target AU peacekeepers, who have the job of protecting key government installations.

The AU force consists of some 3,000 troops from Uganda and Burundi.

Meanwhile, gunmen have kidnapped a Pakistani in Somalia's semi-autonomous Puntland region.

Muse Gelle, governor of Puntland's Bari region, says the man was seized Sunday while on his way to work.

Somalia is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for foreign workers, who are regularly targeted for kidnapping by gunmen seeking ransoms.

On Thursday, two Italian nuns in their 60s were released after being held since November. The two had been kidnapped in Kenya, then taken into Somalia.

Somalia has suffered through years of chaos and war since the collapse of the last stable government in 1991.

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


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