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Somali Legislator Shot and Killed in Baidoa

Witnesses in the southwestern Somali city of Baidoa say a gunman has shot and killed a member of parliament.

The witnesses say Mohammed Osman Maye was killed late Tuesday as he was leaving a mosque in Baidoa, where the Somali parliament meets.

In a statement posted Wednesday on its Web site, the Islamist militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the killing. It said Maye was one of the staunchest supporters of Ethiopian troops in Somalia.

The group says the killing should be a warning to other members of parliament.

Heavy fighting broke out today between Islamist insurgents and Ethiopian-backed government troops in parts of the capital, Mogadishu. Deaths and injuries were reported, although casualty figures are not available.

The insurgents are fighting to topple Somalia's interim government and to push out Ethiopian troops supporting the administration.

The Ethiopian troops entered Somalia in 2006, to help the country's interim government evict an Islamist movement that had seized control of the capital and much of southern Somalia.

Since then, unrelenting violence has killed thousands of Somalis and displaced at least one million others.

Somalia has not had a stable government since its civil war in 1991.

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

 

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