NJ Rep Attacked in Somalia Urges Support for New Gov't

Payne calls for world to support Somalia's new leaders
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 14, 2009 3:45 AM CDT
NJ Rep Attacked in Somalia Urges Support for New Gov't
Rep. Donald Payne, D-N.J., left, has discussions with Somalia Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid, Monday, April 13, 2009 in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.    (AP Photo/Mohamed Sheikh Nor)

A New Jersey congressman targeted by Somali militants didn't even know his plane had been attacked until it landed safely in Kenya, he tells the Newark Star-Ledger. Rep. Donald Payne, who escaped injury from the mortar barrage, said he doesn't believe the assault should deter other politicians from meeting Somalia's new government. "I believe that a stable Somalia is really a key to a stable Africa," Payne told CNN.

Payne said he discussed potential cooperation on piracy and security with Somalia's new leaders, who are working to unify the country after 18 years of chaos. Payne didn't comment on whether he thought Sunday's rescue of an American hostage from pirates motivated the attack, although his son was in no doubt. "They all missed," Donald Payne Jr. said. "Good thing they can't shoot." (More Donald Payne stories.)

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