Leader of Somali aid group shot to death

Other News Materials 12 June 2008 02:05 (UTC +04:00)

The leader of a Somali aid organization for women and children was shot to death Thursday, broadcast reports said, dpa reported.

The lethal attack on Mohammed Mahdi, the group's director, took place just a day after government and opposition factions signed a pledge to end hostilities within 30 days for an initial 90-day period.

The attackers opened fire on Mahdi's car as it moved through the port city, the British broadcaster BBC reported. In another attack, five people were killed in an attack on a police station.

The signers of Tuesday's agreement included officials from the Somali government and the Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia (ARS), based in the Eritrean capital Asmara. But several rebel and radical Islamist groups did not sign, instead vowing to continue fighting.

Somalia has been in a state of anarchy since the overthrow of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991. Fighting has intensified since transitional federal government troops and their Ethiopian allies in late 2006 wrested control of Mogadishu from the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC), which briefly controlled Mogadishu in 2006.