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In Somalia's Presidential Palace, Prime Minister Has 'A Lovely NPR Moment'

Prime Minister of Somalia Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke. Frank Langfitt/NPR hide caption

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Frank Langfitt/NPR

This morning, we received another missive from NPR's Frank Langfitt, reporting from Mogadishu, Somalia. (You may have heard him on Morning Edition today, talking about the ongoing conflict there.)

From Frank:

Had a lovely NPR moment in the one of the more unusual places. I was visiting Villa Somalia yesterday, in Mogadishu. It's the heart of an embattled, U.S.-backed government here, and it gets shelled a couple of times a week by Islamist militants.

I was among a group of reporters interviewing the country's prime minister, Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke. I handed him my card and he brightened.

"NPR!" he said. "I listened to NPR all the time. I used to live in Fairfax[, Virginia]."

Many of the people in Somalia's government fled the country's violence years ago, and settled overseas. They've returned in recent years, to try to build a central government in a country that hasn't had one for nearly two decades. It hasn't been going well and parliament is now trying to oust the prime minister.