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Top Somali Insurgent Killed in Mogadishu

By VOA News
09 October 2009

The Islamist militant group Hizbul Islam confirmed Friday that a top commander has been killed outside the Somali capital Mogadishu.

Witnesses say unidentified gunmen opened fire on a car carrying insurgent commander Ahmed Abdurrahman Odawa, killing him and two other people.

A spokesman for Hizbul Islam told VOA his group is investigating who is responsible for the attack.

Tensions have been rising between Hizbul Islam insurgents and the al-Qaida-linked group al-Shabab.

The groups had been working together to battle Somalia's weak transitional government. But they recently fought each other for control of the southern port city of Kismayo, a key source of revenue for the militants.

This week the insurgent groups announced they had agreed to a truce and planned to settle their differences under Islamic law.

Separately, a United Nations delegation visited Mogadishu Friday to discuss humanitarian efforts and the possibility of reopening the U.N. office in Mogadishu.

Somalia has not had a stable central government since 1991.

Al-Shabab and its allies control much of southern Somalia after a nearly three-year war against the Western-backed Somali government.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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