Islamist rebels in Somalia kill three as Ramadan starts

MOGADISHU (KON) - Islamist rebels shot dead three members of Somalia's security forces in the capital on Sunday, police and witnesses said on the first day of Ramadan, the Muslim fasting month when insurgents had warned they would stage attacks.
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Islamist rebels in Somalia kill three as Ramadan starts

The government and African Union peacekeepers have stepped up security to try to prevent assaults during the month by the Islamist al Shabaab group, which has waged a seven-year campaign to impose its strict interpretation of Islamic law. 

Two traffic police men were gunned down by militants on Maka al Mukaram road, a major thoroughfare through the center of Mogadishu, the commander of traffic police, Ali Hirsi, told Reuters. "The attackers escaped," he said. 

In a northern district of the city, a soldier was shot dead by men with pistols, shopkeeper Ali Abdullahi said, adding it happened on the street outside his store. 

Al Shabaab has a strong presence in the north of the capital, residents say. 

The group claimed responsibility for all three killings. "This marks the beginning of our operations. More are to follow," the spokesman for al Shabaab

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