Somali court officer gunned down in Mogadishu

Tue May 29, 2007
By Guled Mohamed

MOGADISHU, May 29 (Reuters) – Gunmen killed a court official in Mogadishu in the latest rebel attack targeting authorities in the chaotic Somali capital, witnesses said on Tuesday.

Sheikh Mohamed Muse Duale, the head of a court in the central town of Baladwayne, was shot dead as he waited for a bus late on Monday at Mogadishu’s Bakara Market.

“Someone shot him twice in the head,” resident Omar Rageh, who witnessed the shooting, told Reuters by telephone. “This was definitely an assassination since he was not robbed.”

Insurgents from an ousted militant Islamist movement have increasingly adopted the tactics of Iraqi guerrillas since the interim Somali government and its Ethiopian allies forced them out of the seaside capital in December after a brief war.

At least two people died on Monday when attackers hurled grenades and opened fire on Ethiopian troops in the city.

The rebels have struck government buildings, convoys and Ugandan peacekeepers patrolling under an African Union mandate.

President Abdullahi Yusuf’s government is struggling to impose central rule on the Horn of Africa nation, in anarchy since warlords kicked out dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.

“This must be the work of the former Islamist movement,” one government soldier, Mohamed Said, said of Duale’s killing.

“They want to paint a bad picture of Mogadishu in order to frustrate the government’s efforts in taming anarchy,” he said.