A delegate at the Somali peace talks in Kenya has been found murdered in a forest on the outskirts of the capital, Nairobi.
Ali was an influential player in Mogadishu
Sheikh Ibrahim Ali was one of three people discovered dead from gunshot wounds - the others were a business friend and a local driver.
A wealthy businessman from the Somali capital, Mogadishu, Sheikh Ibrahim was also a member of the country's transitional national assembly.
A police officer interviewed on Kenya's commercial Nation Television,
which carried pictures of the bodies, said the victims had bullet
The Kenyan authorities are trying to establish whether he was killed for political reasons.
Rival Somali factions have been attending meetings in Kenya for more than a year, aimed at establishing the first national administration since the collapse of president Mohammed Siad Barre's
regime in 1991.
Last month delegates to the talks endorsed a transitional
federal charter. But it was immediately rejected by several key
figures, including the head of the current Transitional National Government (TNG), President Abdulkassim Salat Hassan.
President Salat warned of a fresh civil war
President Salat had spurned the talks in July, accusing a committee steering the peace conference and other Somali delegates of sanctioning the "dismemberment" of Somalia.
However, most of the TNG representatives to the peace talks, including
the murdered delegate, decided to remain in the conference.
The largely powerless TNG was created in 2000, but only controls
parts of Mogadishu and pockets of territory in southern Somalia.