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At Least 5 Children Dead In Somalia Land Mine Blast


Witnesses in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, say at least five children have been killed after a land mine they discovered exploded.

Witnesses say the children had dug up the mine and were playing with it when it detonated. They say all of the victims were under the age of 12. At least three others were injured in the blast.

This latest incident comes a day after the government publicly executed two men accused of killing police officers.

The execution was the government's first case of capital punishment since its formation in 2004.

Security officials say the men were blindfolded and then shot by a security squad.

In other news, the mayor of Mogadishu survived an assassination attempt Thursday when a roadside bomb exploded near his convoy. Several government officials have been assassinated in the capital in recent weeks.

The Somali government has been unable to stop escalating violence in Mogadishu since declaring victory over an Islamic insurgency last month.

In other developments, a representative from the European Union is in Somalia for talks with President Abdullahi Yusuf on security and humanitarian concerns.

Members of Somalia's dominant Hawiye clan have postponed a meeting of clan leaders because of disagreements among them.

The meeting was scheduled to begin Thursday, and was intended to harmonize Hawiye views before this month's National Reconciliation Conference.

The violence between insurgents and an alliance of government and Ethiopian troops has left more than 1,300 people dead since February.

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