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Gunmen kill Somali lawmaker

SOMALIA: Armed men shot and killed a Somali lawmaker in Mogadishu on Sunday, officials and witnesses said, in the latest violence to hit Somalia's war-ravaged capital.

"Two gunmen shot a legislator near his hotel tonight, they shot him in the head and shoulder and he died instantly," Somali security official Liban Mohamed told AFP.

Witnesses said Kalif Jire Warfa was gunned down at around 7:30 pm (1630 GMT).

"He left Maruwas mosque when they shot him dead," witness Idris Yusuf said. "The killers escaped before police arrived at the scene."

There has been a surge in attacks in Somalia's war-ravaged capital since the African Union troops backing the government on Thursday captured positions previously held by the hardline Shebab movement.

Shebab Islamists have vowed to topple the Western backed transitional government and drive out the African Union force in Somalia (AMISOM) troops supporting it. Most lawmakers travel in Mogadishu under escort.

The Al-Qaeda inspired Shebab have been losing ground in the capital in recent months however as pro-government troops and AMISOM have clawed their way back to several key positions.

Clashes took place in the city on Friday but calm was restored over the weekend, an AFP journalist said. AFP

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