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AU peacekeepers hit by roadside bomb in Mogadishu
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08:25, July 04, 2007

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A convoy of the African Union peacekeepers from Uganda has been hit by a roadside bomb as their convoy was moving along a street in the Somali capital Mogadishu, a senior Ugandan military officials said Tuesday.

None of the troops were hurt but some civilian passers-by were slightly wounded and a Ugandan military truck was also slightly damaged.

"It was a remote controlled roadside bomb intended to kill the troops," Jacket Mukassa, a senior Ugandan military official told reporters at the contingent's base in Halane Camp in the south of the city.

"But it was detonated long after we passed its position and it caused slight injury to civilians and damage to one of our trucks."

The Ugandan contingent has faced a number of previous attacks in which several its soldiers have been killed by a roadside bomb.

About 1,500 Ugandan peacekeepers, the only contingent, are in Somalia as part of an scheduled 8,000-strong AU peacekeeping Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

Islamic insurgents have been blamed for the latest upsurge in attacks aimed at Somali forces and Ethiopian and Ugandan troops inMogadishu, the restive seaside city of 2 million people.

Meanwhile, Osman Ali, the deputy commissioner of Huruwaa district of Mogadishu, was killed overnight by two unknown gunmen as he was going back to his home.

The district commissioner of Huruwaa have also been killed in an earlier attack. Other government officials have been killed or reportedly escaped assassination attempts in various parts in the capital since the arrival of the Somali transitional government in the city early this year.

The latest killing and roadside bombs comes as the twice delayed national reconciliation conference is expected to convene in less than two weeks time.

The Hawiye, the major clan in Mogadishu, is deeply divided as to how to attend the conference with some favoring to boycott while others are supporting it.

Somalia has been without a central government since the overthrow of late ruler Mohamed Siyad Barre in 1991 when the country plunged into chaos until the formation of the current transitional federal government in Nairobi in 2004 as a result of the reconciliation conference there.

Source: Xinhua

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