Somalia:Al-Shabab shoots dead senior national security officer

A Somali soldier stands at the site of a car bomb attack near the Peace Hotel in the capital Mogadishu, (Photo by AFP)

Militants from the al-Shabab Takfiri group have shot dead a senior national intelligence officer in front of his house in the capital Mogadishu, officials say.

Ibrahim Nur, a police officer, said that the security officer had been sitting in front of his house without his body guards on Thursday when armed militants shot him to death.

The officer added that the assailants had managed to flee the scene before security forces arrived.

“Police and security forces reached the scene later to investigate and pursue the militants. It is difficult to prevent death — the officer had no guards with him when he was killed,” Nur said.

The deceased officer had been involved in conducting security operations against the militant group across the long-chaotic Horn of Africa nation.

“We are behind the killing of the national security general called Mohamud Haji Ali,” Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabab’s military operation spokesman, said.

Al-Shabab has stepped up its deadly bombings in Mogadishu since the new president took office in February.

Earlier this month, al-Shabab carried out a car bomb attack against senior officials leaving a military base in Mogadishu, killing at least 15 people.

On April 6, President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed declared war on al-Shabab but at the same time offered the militants an amnesty.

He said that the militants who gave up their arms within 60 days would receive jobs and education.

Somalia has been the scene of deadly clashes between government forces and al-Shabab militants since 2006.

The Takfiri militant group was forced out of the capital by African Union troops in 2011 but still controls parts of the countryside and carries out attacks against government, military and civilian targets.

The group is just one of the challenges facing the new Somali government, which is still struggling to expand its authority beyond the capital.

By Africafrique and agencies

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