Unidentified attackers killed five people and wounded seven others in central Somalia on Wednesday when they threw a hand grenade into an intelligence officer’s car, a regional official said. Galkayo town chairman Aweys Ali Said told Reuters the officer, who worked for the security services of Somalia’s semi-autonomous northern Puntland region, died in the blast along with four of his bodyguards.

tn_2008-11-13t124559z_01_ajoe4ac0zgp00_rtroptp_2_ozatp-somalia-conflict-20081113“Seven bystanders including police and civilians were also wounded in the attack,” Ali said by telephone from Galkayo. Residents said some people in the area were also hurt when police opened fire after the explosion.

Fighting in the Horn of Africa nation has worsened one of the world’s most acute humanitarian disasters. More than 1 million Somalis have been uprooted by fighting over the last two years and 3 million survive on food aid. Donors pledged at least $213 million last week to bolster the country’s security forces and help pay for AMISOM, a small African Union peace mission based in the capital Mogadishu.

Somalia has been mired in chaos since warlords toppled dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991 and then turned on each other. President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed’s new administration is the 15th attempt to set up a central government since then.



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