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Monday, September 18, 2006

One dead in Somali "assassination" attempt

BAIDOA, Somalia, Sept 18 (Reuters) - One person was killed and several others wounded when a car exploded outside Somalia's parliament in Baidoa on Monday in an assassination attempt on President Abdullahi Yusuf, Somalia's foreign minister said.

"It was an assassination attempt on the president," Foreign Minister Ismail Hurre told Reuters.

"A car exploded when the president's convoy was passing on the way to his residence."

Hurre said the president was fine but one person was killed in the attack and several others wounded.

Arab television station Al Jazeera reported as many as eight people were killed in the blast.

One resident said legislators had been meeting to approve a new government. Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi named new ministers in August after Yusuf declared the earlier cabinet ineffective and dissolved it on Aug 7.

Somalia's interim government is based in the provincial town of Baidao.

The country's 14th attempt at government since the ouster of a dictator in 1991 has been stymied by infighting and the newly empowered Islamists who have taken control of Mogadishu and large parts of southern Somalia.

Last year there were two assassination attempts on Gedi.
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