Hundreds of people rioted Friday near the headquarters of Somalia's weak government after a Cabinet minister was fatally shot outside a mosque. People began streaming into the streets and setting fires just hours after the killing of Abdallah Isaaq Deerow, Somalia's minister for constitutional and federal affairs.
Eyewitnesses said Deerow was shot several times in the chest as he left a mosque in the government seat of Baidoa, about 150 miles from Mogadishu. Mohamed Abdi Hayir, Information Minister, said: "It looks like an organised assassination.
"So far we do not know who did it. They shot him as he was leaving the mosque then ran off."
Deerow was seen as one of the Government’s political heavyweights and had been speaker in a previous parliament. He was close to both the President and the beleaguered Prime Minister and was known to be a keen supporter of inviting Ethiopian troops into Somalia. It is thought that the people responsible are people within the transitional structures who believe that Ethiopian troops are a barrier to peace.
The Union of Islamic Courts, whose militia controls the capital, Mogadishu, denied any involvement in the shooting.