Somali Gunmen Fire at U.N. Office

<i> From Reuters</i>

Gunmen fired grenades at the office of the U.N. special envoy to Somalia on Monday and attacked U.N. officials reopening the first law court to operate in Mogadishu since the outbreak of civil war in 1991.

The U.N. envoy, retired U.S. Adm. Jonathan Howe, escaped unhurt when three grenades were fired at his office in the heavily guarded U.N. compound, U.N. sources said.

One grenade failed to explode and the other two scattered shrapnel fragments around the compound, which has come under almost daily attack from guerrillas for the past two months.

Gunmen also attacked U.N. judicial officials and Malaysian troops when they reopened Mogadishu’s main court close to the port for the first time in more than two years.


U.N. spokesman Farouk Mawlawi told reporters that a 90-minute gun battle ensued and gunmen fired rocket-propelled grenades as well as automatic weapons. He said no one was injured.

The United Nations has said that most attacks on its troops in Mogadishu are by militiamen loyal to warlord Mohammed Farah Aidid.

It has issued an arrest warrant for Aidid in connection with the killing of 24 Pakistani troops in Mogadishu in June.