Two boys killed on second day of Somali protests

Fri Jun 10, 2011 2:50pm GMT

By Abdi Sheikh

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Two boys were shot dead in Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Friday during a second day of protests against a deal to extend the mandates of the country's president and parliament, residents said.

Hundreds of supporters of the prime minister, who must resign under the terms of the deal, marched through the city's rubble-strewn streets chanting "long live Prime Minister (Mohamed Abdullahi) Mohamed".

The two boys died when police loyal to the speaker of parliament shot at the demonstrators, starting a gunfight with soldiers loyal to President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed and his government, witnesses said. About a dozen other demonstrators were wounded.

Clan loyalties divide almost all spheres of life in Somalia.

"We were just walking and chanting when police guarding the Hotel Muna opened fire on us," Nadifa Ali told Reuters.

"Two young boys died on the spot and others were injured. Soon a military vehicle came and fired on the police guarding the hotel," she said.

A Reuters photographer said the protesters then set the hotel ablaze.

Other rallies in support of Mohamed, a U.S.-educated former diplomat from the Somali diaspora, were also reported in central and southern Somalia.   Continued...

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