Africa

Mogadishu shooting: Top Somali legal official killed

Cars burn after attack on Mogadishu court (14/04)
Image caption This is the second attack on Somalia's judiciary this month

Somalia's deputy chief prosecutor has been shot dead by three masked men in Mogadishu, officials say - shortly after the UK reopened its embassy in the city.

Ahmad Shaykh Nur Maalin was attacked after he left a city centre mosque.

He is the most senior official to be killed in Mogadishu since a new government took office last year.

Foreign Secretary William Hague was in Mogadishu on Thursday to open the first British embassy in Somalia since 1991.

This is the latest indication that the security situation in the city is generally improving after two decades of conflict, despite the occasional attack.

The Islamist group al-Shabab, which is part of al-Qaeda, says it carried out this month's attack on the court house.

It has been forced out of the main cities in southern and central Somalia but still controls smaller towns and many rural areas.

Mohamed Ibrahim Rage who worked for the state-run radio station was shot dead by unidentified gunmen on Sunday - the latest in a series of journalists to be killed in Mogadishu.

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was chosen by MPs in September 2012 as part of a UN-backed bid to restore normality to the country.

The British embassy, the first from any European nation in Somalia, comprises six shipping containers customised to serve as offices.

Tonnes of sand-filled blast-proof fencing surround the area.

British Ambassador Matt Baugh, who had been working from Nairobi in Kenya because of security concerns, will move into the office, but the rest of the embassy compound is not expected to be completed until the end of July.

The former British embassy, located close to the port, was closed in January 1991 following the overthrow of the government, and the building is now a ruin.

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