, MOGADISHU, Jun 20 – The speaker of Somalia’s parliament Saturday asked neighbouring countries to deploy troops within 24 hours to help the embattled government fight rising attacks by hardline Islamist rebels.
"The government is weakened by the rebel forces. We ask neighbouring countries — including Kenya, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Yemen — to send troops to Somalia within 24 hours," Sheikh Aden Mohamed Nur told reporters.
Around 300 people, many of them civilians, have been killed after Islamist rebels stepped up a violence campaign against the UN-backed fragile government of President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed which took office five months ago.
Three top officials have been killed in as many days of fighting, including a lawmaker, Mogadishu’s top police commander and a minister who died in a suicide bombing.
The African Union has about 4,300 troops deployed in the lawless Horn of Africa nation.