Second Somali governor killed in Al-Shabaab suicide blast in just weeks

Second Somali governor killed in Al-Shabaab suicide blast in just weeks
Ahmed Muse Nur, the governor of Somalia's north-central Mudug province, was killed in a Al-Shabaab attack on Sunday.
2 min read
17 May, 2020
The militants have increased attacks on government officials in recent months [Getty]
A Somali governor and three bodyguards were killed in a suicide attack claimed by the Al-Shabaab jihadist group in the regional capital of Galkayo on Sunday, a security official said.

The attacker rammed a scooter taxi into a car carrying Ahmed Muse Nur, the governor of the north-central Mudug province, and his security detail before detonating an explosive device, official Muse Ahmed told AFP.

A witness named Bile Mohamed described the attack in a phone call with AFP, saying: "Everyone in the vehicle including the governor and his driver died, there was smoke and fire all everywhere."

Muse Ahmed confirmed the toll of four and added: "There are other casualties but the details are still being investigated."

Al-Shabaab, an Islamist militant group waging a deadly insurgency in Somalia, claimed responsibility for that attack as well.

On Sunday, it posted a statement on a pro-Shabaab website that said: "The governor of the apostate administration in the Mudug region was killed in a martyrdom operation in Galkayo today."

Galkayo lies around 600 kilometres (375 miles) north of Somalia's capital Mogadishu, straddling the border of two self-proclaimed semi-autonomous states - Puntland and Galmutug, which includes Mudug.

The city has been rocked by fighting between forces from both regions and also by rival clans in the northern and southern parts of the town.  

Al-Shabaab, an Al-Qaeda affiliate, was driven out of Mogadishu in 2011 and lost most of its strongholds, but still controls vast swathes of the countryside.

Its militants have vowed to overthrow the internationally-backed government in Mogadishu and have carried out numerous attacks in the capital.

In December, the militant group killed 81 people in a bombing in Mogadishu that struck a busy checkpoint in the southwest of the city.

Read also: Somalia 'invites Turkey' to explore for oil, Erdogan says

In January, the jihadists killed four people in an attack that apparently targeted Turkish engineers. Weeks earlier, the militant group stormed a military base used by US forces in Kenya's coastal Lamu region, killing three Americans.

Most rescently in March, another governor in Somalia's Puntland was killed in a similar bombing claimed by the al-Shabaab jihadist group.

Abdisalan Hassan Hersi, governor of Nugaal region, succumbed to his injuries after being rushed to a hospital in Garowe, the capital of Puntland where the blast occurred.

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