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Peacekeeper killed in Somalia

ADDIS ABABA, May 6 – An African Union peacekeeper was killed in Somalia’s war-wracked capital, the bloc said Wednesday, condemning it as a "cowardly act."

The soldier from the AU’s Burundian contingent was killed Tuesday in Mogadishu by unidentified armed attackers, it said in a statement, but did not say how he died.

AU commission chief Jean Ping "strongly condemns the killing… of a soldier from the Burundian contingent of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM)," the statement said.

"This cowardly act, perpetrated by armed elements bent on undermining the peace and reconciliation process, will in no way deter the AU from pursuing its efforts and support to the Somali people and parties in their quest for lasting peace and reconciliation."

The AU peacekeepers are the sole foreign force in Somalia after the pullout of Ethiopian soldiers earlier this year following an ill-fated two-year intervention.

The AU soldiers have been repeatedly targetted by hardline Islamist militia in Mogadishu.

In February, 11 Burundian soldiers were killed in the deadliest single attack against the force in the war-riven Somali capital.

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