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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 July, 2003, 17:20 GMT 18:20 UK
Mobile phone deaths rock Somalia
By Mohamed Olad Hassan
BBC, Mogadishu

Bandits have killed six people for their mobile phones, since Friday, in the Somali capital Mogadishu, which is already facing anarchy and ethnic fighting.

Mobile phone
Bandits target Mogadishu businessmen with mobile phones

Most of the victims, including an 18-year-old man carrying the phones were targeted and murdered around the main Bakara market.

Residents, and in particular businessmen, are living in fear as the bandit groups are roaming the city streets.

Osman Hassan Awale, a mobile phone seller in Bakara market, said that more than 25 mobile phones are robbed from their owners and brought to market vendors each day.

"The bandits target the mobile phone holders and kill them if they refuse to hand them over," Mr Awale said.

While security in Mogadishu worsens, thousands of police from the Somali Transitional Government (TNG) are passively watching the rampant insecurity because their power and movements are restricted by militia who control the region.

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