Al-Shabaab militants have shot dead a member of the Somali Federal Parliament and a ministry official in Mogadishu in two separate drive-by shooting incidents on Saturday, witnesses have said.
In the first attack, an official working for the Ministry of Transportation was killed in Wadajir neighbourhood, while the assailants managed to escape from the scene before security forces arrived.
Hours after the first incident, gunmen shot from unidentified car on the MPs who were driving on the busy Mogadishu Conjunction of KM-4.
‘’Gunmen on their vehicle came close to the other car of the MPs and started to open fire. After few seconds, they fled the scene immediately,’’ said one of the eyewitnesses.
MP Yusuf Dirir who sustained a life-threatening injury was rushed to a hospital and died after few moments from the injuries he sustained from the bullets. Another members of Parliament, Abdalla Boos, escaped with minor injuries.
A spokesman from al-Shabaab said that they were behind the assassination of the Somalia MP, adding that it was carried out by their ‘’special trained forces’’.
Speaker of the Parliament Mr Mohamed Osman Jawari condemned the murder of the MP.
Government assassinations are nothing new as al-Shabaab tactic, but now the extremists are taking aim at officials who are much more low-level, who often do not have the sort of bodyguards or other protection that top leaders do. Some of the victims have only the slimmest connections to the authorities.
Earlier on the same day, al-Shabaab fighters attacked a district located in a remote area of the Lower Shabelle region and briefly seized from the government forces. At least 20 people including the battling sides died.
Since 2012 when the new parliament was formed, more ten legislators have been gunned down in Mogadishu. Most of the assassinations have been claimed by al-Shabaab yet others were politically motivated.
Both officers were originally from Somaliland but lived and worked for the SFG.