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Somalia: Fist fights in parliament over new speaker

Wild fist fights erupted in Somalia's parliament over the election of a new speaker, with several MPs taken to the hospital in the most recent of several brawls over the issue.

Somalia parliament fights again 2012 1 5Enlarge
A member of Somalia's parliament is led away after being injured in fistfights as lawmakers elected a new speaker in a move condemned by the troubled nation's president as 'null and void' on January 4, 2012. Several supporters of Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan — sacked as speaker in a controversial move last month by 280 MPs — were injured in the latest of several parliamentary brawls. (Abdurashid Abdulle/AFP/Getty Images)

Fist fights broke out again in Somalia's parliament over the choice of speaker. 

Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan was sacked as speaker last month in a controversial move that sparked wild brawls.

Lawmakers elected a new speaker Wednesday, triggering more fist fights, with several of Adan's supporters injured in the fracas, according to Agence France-Presse. 

Somalia's transitional government controls only Mogadishu, defended from al Shabaab rebels by 10,000 African Union peacekeepers.

The BBC reported on the violence:

Punches were thrown, MPs hit each other with chairs, some used pens to stab one another. Three were taken to hospital.

In a vote, a majority of Somalia's 287 lawmakers chose Madobe Nunow to be parliamentary speaker, AFP reported.

But Somalia's President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed in a committee meeting condemned Nunow's election, calling it "null and void." 

AFP reported:

The apparent inability of Somalia's transitional leadership to conduct even its own parliament peacefully offers a grim prospect for the war-torn nation, where elections are due August under a UN-backed deal.

Adan was impeached in December by MPs upset that he had not convened the 550-seat parliament for two months. 

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