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AU condemns killing of Somali lawmaker

2012-09-23 17:09

Mogadishu - The African Union on Sunday condemned the killing of a member of Somalia's newly-elected parliament.

Mustaf Hagi Mohamed Mo'alin was gunned down by unknown assailants outside a mosque in the Wabari district late on Saturday, police and witnesses said.

"Members of Parliament represent the voice of the Somali people and any attack on parliamentarians is an attack on the people, and it is unacceptable," Boubacar Diarra, special envoy of the AU commission for Somalia, said in a statement.

The attack came less than two weeks after President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud escaped an assassination attempt, two days after being sworn in by parliament.

The Islamist al-Shabaab militia claimed responsibility for the attack.

Over 200 al-Shabaab fighters surrendered to troops from the AU's Amison peacekeeping force on Saturday.

The AU said the insurgents were disarmed and taken into custody in Garsalem, about 80km from Mogadishu.

Eight militants were killed in the region in fighting before the surrender, the AU said.

At least 15 people were killed and at least 20 injured in a suicide bombing at a restaurant in Mogadishu on Thursday.

Al-Shabaab, which controls large parts of the conflict-torn country claimed responsibility for the attack, which the United Nations Security Council condemned "in the strongest terms".

Germany's UN ambassador Peter Wittig on Saturday said the Security Council was committed to supporting the war-torn country in its bid to achieve peace and reconciliation.

Germany currently holds the rotating presidency of the Security Council.