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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 September 2006, 14:42 GMT 15:42 UK
Burial for nun killed in Somalia
Nuns hold their heads during the ceremony
Hundreds turned out to bid farewell to Sister Sgorbati
The 65-year-old Italian nun shot dead in Somalia on Sunday has been buried in neighbouring Kenya.

Sister Leonella Sgorbati was killed, along with her bodyguard, outside the Mogadishu hospital where she worked.

Some suspect the shooting was connected with strong criticism by a radical Somali cleric about the Pope's recent comments on Islam.

Despite the killing, Sister Sgorbati's colleagues vowed to return to lawless Somalia and continue her work.

"The [Somali] people love us, they want us. We know the risks, but we will go back soon to continue our work," Sister Gianna Irene Peano told Reuters news agency during the funeral at a packed Catholic church in Nairobi.

Sister Sgorbati worked in Kenya for more than 30 years before going to Somalia.

'I forgive'

The fluent Somali-speaker was taken into surgery in the Austrian-funded SOS Hospital where she worked but died from her injuries

"She was in agony at the end, but she did not complain. In fact, she said: 'I forgive'," said Sister Peano.

Sister Leonella (undated family photo)
Sister Leonella had worked in both Somalia and Kenya
No group has claimed responsibility.

The following day, a suicide bomber tried to kill President Abdullahi Yusuf in the Somali town of Baidoa.

Mogadishu is controlled by an Islamist group, which some say is linked to al-Qaeda.

The Union of Islamic Courts strongly rejects these accusations and has condemned both attacks.

Yusuf Mohamed Siad, security chief for the Union of Islamic courts (UIC) which controls Mogadishu, said two people had been arrested over Sister Sgorbati's killing.

Muslim anger

Pope Benedict XVI angered many Muslims after quoting a 14th Century Christian emperor as saying the Prophet Muhammad brought the world only evil and inhuman things.

The Pope has since expressed his regret, saying his remarks were misunderstood and did not express in any way his personal opinion.

Last Friday, hardline Somali cleric Sheikh Abubakar Hassan Malin told worshippers at his mosque to hunt down and kill whoever offended the Prophet Mohammed.

There has been no effective central government in Somalia since 1991, although the UIC is credited with bringing some stability to Mogadishu since it seized control in June.


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