Al Shabaab militants kill Somali lawmaker in Mogadishu

MOGADISHU Thu Jul 3, 2014 5:33am EDT

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MOGADISHU (Reuters) - A Somali lawmaker and his bodyguard were killed in Mogadishu on Thursday when al Shabaab gunmen blocked their car and sprayed it with bullets, a fellow legislator said, the fifth such attack in as many days.

The al Qaeda-affiliated Islamist militants were pushed out of the capital by African peacekeeping forces in 2011 but it has since waged a bombing campaign to try to overthrow the government and impose its strict version of sharia law.

Al Shabaab threatened to step up attacks during the Ramadan fasting month which began on Sunday.

"Our colleague legislator Mohamed Mohamud Hayd and his bodyguard died - another lawmaker and a secretary for the parliament were also injured in the exchange of fire," lawmaker Dahir Amin Jesow told Reuters.

"The MP who died was a former admiral and a hardworking lawmaker who has been in parliament for over a decade. I understand the gunmen escaped - it is very unfortunate."

Sheikh Abdiasis abu Musab, al Shabaab's spokesman for military affairs, pledged to continue killing Somali legislators "one by one".

"The so-called lawmakers are the ones who brought the enemy Christians into our country. We shall continue killing the legislators in bundles," Musab told Reuters, a reference to the support Mogadishu receives from Western governments and African Union members who have sent in troops to battle the rebels.

Al Shabaab killed two MPs in Mogadishu in April, gunning down one and blowing up the other over two successive days.

U.S. military advisers have secretly operated in Somalia since around 2007 and Washington plans to deepen its security assistance to help the country fend off al Shabaab, U.S. officials told Reuters.

(Reporting by Abdi Sheik and Feisal Omar; Writing by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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Comments (1)
carlmartel wrote:
The attacks on legislators prove that the government can’t protect its own members, so citizens know that the government can’t protect its citizens, its primary duty. The rule is that rebels don’t win rebellions; governments lose them. Also, this attack happens inside the capital that should be more secure than other parts of Somalia. The main military objective inside Somalia for al Qaeda, a partner of al Shabaab, is to overthrow the government and take over the country. The next goals are the ports that allow pirate attacks on western shipping, especially oil tankers, going to or from the Suez Canal. Another target is Kenya, an ally of the West that provides troops for supporting the government in Mogadishu. Of course, the war itself helps wear down the West that must send in supplies to maintain the government and deploy some of its own troops and high tech equipment. None of these supplies, troops, and equipment are free for the West even when they are put on “black” budgets.

Jul 03, 2014 8:17pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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