Al-Shabab militants assassinate Somali legislator
A Somali lawmaker has been killed by al-Shabab militants in the capital Mogadishu as assassinations of politicians in the east African country continue.
“Abdulahi Qayad Barre was shot dead, men killed him as he left his house to go to parliament,” fellow MP Abdukarim Hajji said on Monday.
At least five lawmakers were killed in 2014, but Barre is the first one to be assassinated this year.
The al-Shabab militant group that is fighting against the government of Somalia claimed responsibility for the attack.
“Al-Shabab commandoes shot and killed Barre, and all the so-called MPs are a legitimate target subject to be killed or captured…,” the group’s spokesman Sheikh Abdul Aziz Abu Musab said.
Al-Shabab says it is targeting the legislators as they permitted foreign troops to be deployed to the country.
On December 4, 2014, the militants armed with AK-47 assault rifles and traveling in a luxury car opened fire on the car of Somali lawmaker Mustafa Mayow in the center of the capital, before racing off.
Liban Abdullahi Nor, a former legislator, and two bodyguards were killed in the assault, while Mayow sustained injuries.
Somalia has been the scene of deadly clashes between government forces and al-Shabab militants since 2006.
The militants have been pushed out of Mogadishu and other major cities in the country by government forces and the African Union Mission in Somalia, which is largely made up of troops from Ethiopia, Uganda, Burundi, Djibouti, Sierra Leone, and Kenya.