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Last Updated: Monday, 27 February 2006, 15:35 GMT
Militia attack on Puntland's MPs
At least three people have died after an exchange of gunfire near the parliament of Somalia's autonomous province of Puntland.

Gunmen loyal to Planning Minister Abdurrahman Farole entered the building on Sunday, before being forced out by security forces on Monday.

The overnight siege and the clashes may be linked to Monday's deadline for MPs to approve or reject a new cabinet.

Mr Farole has since been sacked by Puntland President Mohamud Muse Hersi.

Puntland declared itself an autonomous region within Somalia in 1998, but - unlike neighbouring Somaliland - does not want full independence.

Journalist Jamal Abdi told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme that the security forces moved in just before the MPs were due to convene and so they were not present during the exchange of gunfire.

Two militiamen and a civilian were killed.

Regions and territories: Puntland
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