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He spoke the same day that two Al-Shabab gunmen killed a Somali legislator as he left his home in Mogadishu, marking the second fatal attack on a member of parliament in as many days.
U.N. Special Representative Nicholas Kay said attacks that cause "significant losses" would likely force international officials to leave or, at least, pare down their missions in the Somali capital of Mogadishu.
"I am deeply conscious that if we make a mistake in our security presence and posture, and suffer a significant attack, particularly on the U.N., this is likely to mean to us withdrawing from Somalia," Kay said at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington.
"There are scenarios in which if we take further significant losses, then that would have a strategic effect on our mission," Kay said.
Western diplomats began increasing ties with Mogadishu after Somali civil activist Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was elected president in September 2012. At the time, the West cautiously predicted improvements in Somalia
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