Somalia's Prime Minister escapes attack

Somalia's Prime Minister Mohamed Ali Gedi escaped an attack Sunday in Mogadishu, a city controlled by his political foes. Either a landmine blew up or grenades were thrown as his convoy passed. Gedi's guards responded by shooting in the street.

Gedi was unharmed but one vehicle was set on fire and two or three people travelling with him were killed, reports said.

Somalia, including the capital Mogadishu, is mainly controlled by warlords, who hold cabinet posts in the transitional government set up after peace talks in Kenya in 2004.

Gedi went to Mogadishu to negotiate with one of the factions in the transitional government.

Gedi was appointed prime minister after the Kenyan talks, but is based in the town of Jowhar about 90 kilometres north of the capital. As well as political rivalries dividing the transitional government, Islamic extremists are also a force.

There have been 14 central governments since 1991, when the dictator Mohamed Siad Barre was overthrown.

The country is often described as lawless, and the United Nations says the "southern Somali coastline is one of the most dangerous in the world" because of the pirates who operate there, reports CBC news. I.L.

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