A government official from the prime minister's office, a lawmaker and a bodyguard were killed in Somalia's capital on Saturday by members of the militant group al-Shabab. The attack came as the latest in a series of murders of top policymakers and high-ranking officials by extremists in the country.
Abdullahi Hussein Mohamud Bantu, a member of the Federal Parliament of Somalia, was killed by a gunman in Mogadishu. He is the 10th member of the Somali parliament to be slain by the group in the country over the past year. The National Intelligence and Security Agency of Somalia announced his death on Twitter.
— NISA (@HSNQ_NISA) July 25, 2015
The militant group al-Shabab, which is affiliated with al Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attack and threatened more assassinations, according to a local news site called Garowe Online. Earlier this month, al-Shabab launched a grenade attack that prompted African Union soldiers to kill at least two dozen civilians in retaliation.
“The killing has been carried out by our fighters in Mogadishu. We will continue targeting all Somali MPs because they spread un-Islamic laws,” an anonymous spokesman for al-Shabaab told the news service. Reuters reports that Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, the group’s spokesman for military operations, has also confirmed the attacks were by al-Shabab.
Garowe reports that the attack came in the form of a drive-by shooting based on witness reports from the Wadajir district of Mogadishu. Bantu’s bodyguard was killed alongside Bantu, and a government official from the prime minister's office was slain in a separate attack on the same day, reports Reuters, but those victims have not yet been named.
Condolences poured in from other high-ranking officials including Nick Kay, UN Special Representative for Somalia.
Shocked and saddened to hear reports of killing of another #Somali MP, Abdullahi H Bantu. A despicable act. May his soul rest in peace.
— Nick Kay (@Somalia111) July 25, 2015