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Nun's Murder Linked To Pope's Comments

ISSUE 244
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President Rayale Said To Be Behind A Criminal Action Brought Against Haatuf Newspaper

Islamic militia seizes control of Somalia seaport

Abdillahi Yusuf Can't Rule Somalia

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Financing Somalia's Islamist Warlords

Red Cross Suspends Activities Over Ethiopia Kidnap

7 Somalia President’s Guards Flown To Nairobi

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Migrants Beaten To Death On Ships To Yemen - U.N.

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Islamists Ban Trade Of Khat During Ramadan

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U.S. Has Direct Contacts With Somali Islamists

Pope Sorry His Speech Offended Muslimsr

Somali Refugees Fear New Deadly Violence In Cape Town

Bristol: OFFICERS AT AIRPORT ARE TARGETING US, SAY SOMALIS

Al-Jazeera Int'l Vows 'Unparalleled' News From Africa

Who Says Immigrants Make No Contribution?

The Next Phase of the Middle East War

Somalia Denies CIA Presence In Bombing Probe

Somalia Denies CIA Presence In Bombing Probe

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Somaliland: Time for Corrections & Police Services rather than Forces

Oil Is The Basis Of The Crisis In Darfur

In Somalia, A Boot Camp For Islam

Business And Islam: Allies Against Anarchy In Somalia

''Somalia Drifts Toward Fragmentation As Regional Powers Polarize''

Investors Bet On Rising Costs For Scarce Water

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Why No Action In Darfur? Race

A Note Of Congratulation To SOPRI For A Successful Somaliland Convention 2006

Our cream

The Equation Of Mr. Arab Moi Will Not Be Compatible With Somaliland’s Inspirations

It Is No Easy Task Solving The Somalia Question

Somalia: International Religious Freedom Report 2006

The Theory of Backwardness and Somalia/Somaliland Political Stage


Photo
This undated photo provided Sunday, Sept. 17, 2006 by the family of Sister Leonella, shows Italian nun Sister Leonella in Rezzanello di Gazzola, near Piacenza, Italy.
Photo
Sheik Nor Barud, right, vice chairman of the Somali Muslim Scholars' Association, listens to Sheik Ahmed Bile, an Islamic courts official, left, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2006, during a press conference in Mogadishu, Somalia. Barud, an influential ideological backer for the Islamic Courts, vehemently condemned Pope Benedict XVI's speech on Islam and holy war. (AP Photo/Mohamed Sheikh Nor)

MOGADISHU, Somalia, September 17, 2006 — Two gunmen killed an Italian nun and her bodyguard at a hospital Sunday, and a security official for an Islamic militia controlling the capital speculated the attack was linked to worldwide Muslim anger over a speech by Pope Benedict XVI.

The nun, whose identify was not released, was shot in the back four times at the entrance to the Austrian-run S.O.S. Hospital in northern Mogadishu, said Dr. Mohamed Yusuf, a physician at the facility, which serves mothers and children.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which came hours after a leading Somali cleric condemned remarks by the pope that quoted a Byzantine emperor who characterized some of the teachings of Islam's founder as "evil and inhuman."

The head of security for the Islamic militia, Yusuf Mohamed Siyad, said one man had been arrested and a second was being hunted. He said the killing might have stemmed from the uproar over the pope but stressed he didn't know for sure.

"They could be people annoyed by the pope's speech, which angered all Muslims in the world, or they could have been having something to do with S.O.S," he said. "We will have to clarify this through our investigation."

A Vatican spokesman called the nun's slaying "a horrible episode," the Italian news agency ANSA said.

"Let's hope that it will be an isolated fact," the Rev. Federico Lombardi said. He expressed hope Muslim anger would ease following Benedict's explanation Sunday that the quotation he cited did not reflect his personal opinion about Islam.

The nun, who spoke fluent Somali, was believed to be around 60 and had been working at the hospital since 2002, people at the hospital said, insisting on anonymity for fear of reprisals. She taught at the hospital and also looked after children, said one doctor.

Her body was being flown to Nairobi, Kenya, before being returned to Italy, he added.

Like many foreigners, she traveled with a bodyguard in Somalia, which sank into anarchy after warlords overthrew the country's longtime dictator in 1991.

But attacks on foreigners have continued.

In June an award-winning Swedish journalist, Martin Adler, was fatally shot while covering a demonstration in Mogadishu. Veteran Italian aid worker Annalena Tonelli was shot dead in 2003 in the breakaway republic of Somaliland in the north.

Islamic fundamentalists have stepped into the political and security vacuum, seizing control of Mogadishu and much of Somalia's south, imposing strict religious rule.

A U.N.-backed acting government was established two years ago, but it has failed to assert any power outside its base in Baidoa, 150 miles from Mogadishu.

The Islamic militia's courts are credited with bringing a semblance of order, but the West fears the emergence of a Taliban-style regime.

On Sunday, a Somali cleric strongly criticized Benedict's speech.

"The pope's statement at this time was not only wrong but irresponsible as well," said Sheik Nor Barud, deputy leader of the Somali Muslim Scholars Association.

"Both the Pope and the Byzantine emperor he quoted are ignorant of Islam and its noble prophet," he told journalists at a news conference.

Source: The Associated Press


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