Somali minister shot dead

A minister in Somalia's transitional national government has been shot dead in a new blow to the country's internationally recognised but virtually powerless administration.

    An Islamist militia controls large areas of Somalia

    Abdallah Deerow Isaq, the Constitution and Federalism Minister, was killed as he left Friday prayers in the town of Baidoa - seat of the fragile interim Somali government.

    "It looks like an organised assassination," Mohamed Abdi Hayr, the Somali information minister said.

    "So far we do not know who did it. They shot him as he was leaving the mosque then ran off. Police are chasing the gunmen."

    The government was formed in 2004 as the 14th attempt to restore central rule to Somalia since the 1991 overthrow of military ruler Mohammed Siad Barre.

    It has been unable to halt the rise to power of the Supreme Islamic Council of Somalia - an Islamist militia that took control of the capital Mogadishu and other towns in June.

    Deerow was not among the 18 ministers who resigned from the administration on Thursday, complaining about the government's inability to stabilise the African nation.

    Also on Friday, fighters loyal to the Islamist group closed roads around the capital's airport and chased away onlookers while a large cargo plane was unloaded of unidentified cargo.

    A similar aircraft landed on Wednesday, and officials from the transitional government accused Eritrea of sending arms to the militants.

    Local people said several trucks came to collect the delivery from the airport.

    "The Islamists are arming themselves and now we have to wait for fighting," said Abdullahi Ali, a local man.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    How the art world's hunger for ancient artefacts is destroying a centuries-old culture. A journey across the Himalayas.