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Another Militia Leader Assassinated in Somalia


A senior member of an Islamist militia allied with Somalia's government has been killed in the capital, Mogadishu, in the second such attack in as many weeks.

Mohamed Mohamud Jimale was a leader of the Islamic Courts Union, an Islamist militia allied with Somalia's new moderate Islamist government. He was killed in an attack by three gunmen.

No group has claimed responsibility, but the Islamic Courts Union blamed the hard-line Islamist insurgent group al-Shabab for a similar attack last week that killed another Islamic Courts Union leader.

Meanwhile, a leader of the Hawiye, Somalia's largest clan, said al-Shabab fighters attempted to assassinate him overnight in Mogadishu. Ahmed Dirie Ali said the group has drawn up a list of prominent political figures to assassinate.

Hawiye clan leaders and moderate Islamists have lent their support to President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, who took office at the end of January, after his faction of the Islamist opposition signed an agreement with the government.

But hardline Islamist militias, including al-Shabab, continue to lead an insurgency against the government, criticizing the president for being too close to the United States and for his moderate Islamism.

During the weekend, the government approved a plan to implement Islamist law in the country. But al-Shabab official, Hussein Ali Fidow, rejected the move.

He criticized the law introduced by the government as too moderate. He said the law was intended to destroy Sharia and to undermine stricter Islamists.

Discord may be growing within the ranks of the Islamist insurgents. Fighting between two insurgent factions near the southern town of Bulo Haji killed four people Tuesday, according to local media. A day earlier, another clash between Islamist factions in the central town of Beledweyn killed at least nine people.

President Ahmed arrived in Egypt on Tuesday for talks with Egyptian and Arab League officials. He was previously in Turkey, and will go next to Brussels, to attend an international donor conference on the situation in Somalia.

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