WASHINGTON / MOGADISHU – The al-Shabab militant group claimed responsibility for the assassination of Somalia’s deputy attorney general on Wednesday in Mogadishu.
Authorities say the attack took place in the Hodan district as Mohamed Abdirahman Mursal left home for work.
Witnesses told VOA Somali that two men on a motorcycle blocked his way, ordered him to exit the car and shot him dead. The reason for the attack was not known, although al-Shabab has in the past assassinated government officials, civil servants, soldiers and elders.
The men, who were armed with pistols, fled the scene in the car. Police later found the vehicle abandoned.
Somali officials condemned the attack on Mursal and described him as a rising attorney who studied Islamic law in Saudi Arabia. One official who spoke on condition of anonymity said Mursal was planning to go to Qatar later this year to take courses for an advanced law degree.
In September 2017, al-Shabab gunmen assassinated Mursal’s mother, Anab Abdullahi Hashi, who was secretary general of a Somali women’s organization.
Meanwhile, two civilians were killed and seven wounded in two roadside explosions in Bardhere, one of the biggest towns in Somalia’s Jubaland regional administration.
The deputy leader of the administration, Mohamud Sayid Aden, told VOA Somali that the explosions targeted Ethiopian soldiers and that two were among the wounded. Ethiopian soldiers serve in the African Union peacekeeping mission known as AMISOM to help the Somali government defeat al-Shabab.