Fri, Apr 24, 2009 - Page 6 News List

Lesotho’s prime minister escapes attempt on his life

AP AND REUTERS , JOHANNESBURG AND MASERU

Lesotho’s prime minister escaped an assassination attempt on Wednesday at his home in the capital, but the attack sparked a gunfight with police that left three would-be assassins dead, South Africa’s president and media reports said.

Some of the attackers in the city of Maseru managed to escape, but a South African and a Mozambican were arrested and a number of weapons were seized, the South African Press Association reported.

Lesotho Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili survived the attack, but details were sketchy.

Mosisili, 64, has been prime minister of the African mountain kingdom for 12 years. He was re-elected at 2007 polls that were regarded as fair, although the main opposition party contested the subsequent allocation of seats in the legislature.

The situation has been tense ever since in the former British colony — a tiny country of 2 million people surrounded by South Africa.

Lesotho has a history of political unrest, is among Africa’s poorest countries and suffers one of the world’s highest AIDS rates.

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