MOGADISHU, Somalia, July 15 (UPI) -- A peace conference aimed at healing conflict in Somalia began and then immediately adjourned Sunday to give delegates more time to arrive.
The forum in Mogadishu had been postponed several times previously because of violence and Saturday Islamic militants threatened to kill those who attended Sunday's meeting, BBC News reported.
Organizers postponed the forum until Thursday as several mortar shells landed near the conference hall Sunday, injuring several civilians, the BBC reported.
More than 1,000 Somali elders from the country's fragmented clans were to attend the forum in the capital city of Mogadishu, which has seen little peace since December when government troops backed by Ethiopian forces battled Islamic militants.
Somalia has been engulfed in chaos since 1991, when warlords overthrew Mohamed Siad Barre and then turned on each other. A government formed in 2004 with the help of the United Nations has made little progress toward reconciling the factions, the BBC said.
Many Somalis remain skeptical genuine reconciliation can be achieved.