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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Somalia's Presidenten Rebukes His Security Aides

By Aweys Yusuf and Abdi Sheikh

MOGADISHU, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Somalia's president rebuked his top security aides on Saturday after insurgent attacks on police stations that killed five people overnight highlighted precarious security in the capital Mogadishu.

President Abdullahi Yusuf called the meeting to deal with persistent violence by remnants of a militant Islamist group his government ousted with Ethiopian military help in the New Year.

"The president called the cabinet ministers, the head of the police force and mayor of Mogadishu to discuss about the security of Mogadishu," an aide who declined to be named told Reuters.

A legislator close to the president who confirmed the meeting said Yusuf was not pleased with the performance of his security forces. In some cases, newly trained policemen or soldiers have fled their positions after coming under attack.

"He is not happy with the lack of coordination and accountability," the legislator told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Yusuf, whose interim government is struggling to impose its authority on the Horn of Africa nation since it routed the sharia courts groups, also wanted a full accounting of all soldiers and their pay.

"The president said he wants a thorough census of the exact number of the government troops to be aware of their payments," the aide said.

The meeting came after insurgents attacked police stations across Mogadishu overnight, killing at least two police officers and three civilians, witnesses said. Officials denied any officers were killed.

The worst-hit was the police station in Hodan in northern Mogadishu, an insurgent stronghold.

"They torched the police station and escaped. We are chasing them. We have the names of people involved in that attack and we will seize them," Mogadishu Deputy Mayor Abdifitah Ibrahim Shaweye said.

The Rest @ Reuters Africa

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