At least two people were killed in Somalia's capital Friday after hundreds of people took to the streets for the second day to protest an agreement calling for the ouster of the country's popular prime minister, an official and witnesses said.
Security guards opened fire on protesters, killing a teenage boy, after demonstrators threw stones at a hotel where lawmakers were staying, a military official said. A witness said soldiers shot a fellow soldier who joined the demonstration.
Protesters blocked the roads with rocks and burned tires, while chanting "Stay Put Farmajo." Farmajo is a nickname for Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed. They also burned pictures of the U.N. envoy to Somalia who they accused of pushing forward the agreement to force the prime minister to resign.
Demonstrators said they will continue protests until they are assured that Mohamed will not have to leave office despite the U.N.-backed accord calling for his resignation in a month's time to pave the way for the formation of a new government.
The agreement, signed Wednesday between President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed and Parliamentary Speaker Sharif Hassan Sheik Aden, has extended the government's term by a year and postponed an upcoming presidential election until the next year to give leaders more time to deal with pressing security and political issues.
But protesters say President Ahmed scarified the high-performing prime minister to stay in power.
"The two Sharifs must go," said protester Faysal Abdullahi, referring to the president and speaker. "Prime Minister Farmajo is the only leader who cares about Somalia. He cleaned the government. We will not stop the protests until we're assured that he would not resign."
Another protester Hamdi Ahmed, who scrawled "Farmajo Victory" on her face, said Mohamed was her only hope for peace in Somalia.
"We love the prime minister. He helps the poor. I have not seen any leader with his quality," said 17-year-old Ahmed. "He didn't do anything special for me. But I want peace for my country. I believe that he is the only person who can restore peace to Somalia."
Mohamed, a Somali-American, is popular with many Somalis because he has managed to pay salaries to government workers and soldiers, and has fought corruption.
In his seven-month stint, Mohamed's government has wrested large swaths of territory from al-Qaida-linked militants al-Shabab in Mogadishu and southern parts of the country.
The government once controlled only a couple square miles (kilometers) near Mogadishu's seaside airport. African Union officials say they now control half the city after a major offensive launched against al-Shabab at the beginning of the year.
Hundreds of people _ including women, children and elderly _ took to the streets Thursday after news of the deal between the country's feuding leaders was announced.
At least two protesters were killed in the capital Friday.
Protester Abdullahi said several bullets hit a soldier in the face and neck as he shouted pro-prime minister slogans in Mogadishu's Dharkinley neighborhood. The soldier was wearing army fatigues and held a picture of the prime minister, he said.
Col. Ahmed Abdinur, a Somali military official, also confirmed the death of a teenager who was shot dead after a security guard fired at a crowd demonstrating against the prime minister's possible resignation.
Abdinur said protesters, chanting anti-Ahmed and Aden slogans, approached Medina hotel, where lawmakers usually stay, and guards fired on the protesters, killing the teenager.
Protesters then set the hotel on fire, said demonstrator Abdiqadir Ahmed Mohamed who was at the scene.
Muhumed contributed from Nairobi, Kenya.