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Assassination attempt on President is attack on all Somalis, UN says

29 October 2009 – Two recent attempts to kill Somali President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed are assassination attacks on all Somalis, the top United Nations official for the strife-torn country said today.

“After failing at an attempted coup in May – act strongly condemned by the whole of the international community – extremists are again trying to terrorize the Somali people and wreak further havoc on the nation,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah said in a news release.

Extremists yesterday tried to assassinate the president as he was returning to Mogadishu. This followed a similar attempt last Thursday at Mogadishu airport as he boarded a plane for Uganda to attend an African summit.

“Resorting to political assassinations that kill innocent Somali bystanders, including women and children, is not only condemnable but absolutely not the way to access power,” Mr. Ould-Abdallah said.

“Committing suicide goes against all religious teachings,” he added, citing a verse from the Koran: “Do not kill yourselves, for truly Allah has been to you most merciful. If any do that in rancour and injustice, soon shall we cast him into the fire.”

He stressed: “An assassination attempt on the life of the President is also an assassination attempt on all Somalis, as it undermines the efforts of those who have been struggling for some semblance of normalcy and stability for so long.”

“Those who ordered and those who carried out these assassination attempts clearly have no intention of participating in dialogue or any interest in contributing to the peace process in Somalia or in the region.”

The Transitional Federal Government (TFG) headed by Mr. Ahmed is battling Islamist extremists in a country that has been ravaged by factional fighting and has not had a functioning central government since 1991.

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