Isku xirrada

War Deg-Deg ah

Two AU Peacekeepers Killed in Somalia

Somali security officials patrol near southern Mogadishu's K4 intersection conducting operations to ensure security, May 9, 2011

The African Union says two of its peacekeepers have been killed in clashes with al-Shabab militants in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu.

An AU spokesman tells VOA Somali service that the fighting on Thursday also killed four civilians.

AU peacekeepers backing the Somali government clash frequently with al-Shabab, which controls parts of the capital and large sections of southern and central Somalia.

The militant group wants to oust the United Nations-backed government and impose a harshly conservative form of Islamic law.

The U.N. Security Council on Wednesday expressed grave concern about continuing instability in Somalia. The Horn of Africa nation is plagued by violence, political infighting, piracy and humanitarian issues.

The transitional government has accomplished little since its formation in Kenya in 2004. Lately, Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed has been engaged in a public power struggle with the speaker of parliament, Sheikh Hassan Sheikh Aden.

Somalia has not had a stable central government since the fall of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.