A gunman has killed the head of a Somali court, in the latest attack by insurgents targeting Somali government officials.
Sheikh Mohamed Muse Duale was chairman of a court in the central town of Baladweyne. Witnesses say he was shot twice in the head while waiting for a bus in southern Mogadishu Tuesday. Authorities are investigating the attack.
In a separate incident, a police officer was killed as police exchanged fire with gunmen in Mogadishu's Blacksea neighborhood. Police say they have arrested several suspects.
The Somali interim government is struggling to impose its authority in the Horn of Africa nation, which has gone 16 years without an effective central government.
The government and its Ethiopian allies declared victory over Islamist insurgents in the capital last month, but have not been able to fully stop the violence.
The government has scheduled a national reconciliation conference for June 16th. But on Monday, Mogadishu's dominant Hawiye clan said that several conditions must be met for the conference to succeed.
Those conditions include a ceasefire in the capital, as well as the deployment of a full African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia. Clan leaders also are calling for the chairmanship of the peace conference to be shared with a representative of opposition groups to ensure fairness.
The government has cautioned that the conference may have to be delayed for a second time because of insufficient funding by Western donors.Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.