Blast rips children apart

A roadside explosion yesterday killed two children on their way to school in Mogadishu, the latest victims of the daily attacks and artillery duels plaguing the Somali capital.

The children were walking to school in northern Mogadishu's Gupta district when the explosion went off, tearing them to pieces and wounding an elderly man.

It was not clear what the target was meant to be.

The horrific blast came the day after the Islamist-led militants vowed to wage a stronger insurgency until Ethiopian forces deployed to bolster the feeble Somali government withdraw from the Horn of Africa nation.

The children's deaths left their classmates devastated.

Mogadishu, the epicentre of the latest cycle of anarchy, is also hosting government-sponsored talks aimed at reconciling feuding factions and tightening President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed's tenuous grip on power in the impoverished nation of 10million people.

The Islamist militants, who were ousted from the city in April after months of clashes, are boycotting the parliament, which has the backing of both the UN and Western powers. - Sapa-AFP