An unknown assailant killed Sultan Bashir Musa Mohamed Abdikarim (Bashir Muse Konte)  in a mosque in Bossasso, the commercial, port city of Puntland, one of the federal states of Somalia.

The assassin, it is reported, fired several shots at the Sultan’s head at close range inside the mosque.Image may contain: 1 person, phoneThe late Sultan Bashir was reading the Quran ahead of the Friday sermon and prayers at Mubarak mosque of Laanta Hawada, Bossasso when the killer sneaked up to him pretending he was another devotee arriving for prayers early. It was about 11:00 am before noon.

The killer escaped the mosque, evading the Sultan’s bodyguards outside, by throwing a smoke bomb. There are unconfirmed reports that the assailant had three armed supporters stationed outside the mosque who sprayed the area with gunfire to deter a hot chase before the smoke lifted.

Sultan Bashir was one of the best known, most respected traditional elders in the region. and one of the prime movers behind the election of Puntland President, Saeed Abdullahi Deni. The Sultan is said to have engineered the transfer of votes to president Deni who was closely contested by General Assad Osman Diyano. President Deni won by only 3 votes transferred to him by a candidate of the Sultan’s large clan which gave him a narrow lead ahead of Diyano at the last moment.

Nobody or faction has claimed responsibility for the killing yet. None, as such, can be ruled out.

Bari region of Puntland, has of late, become a nesting ground for both IS and Al Shabaab who, on many an occasion, fight it out for supremacy in large parts of the region.

The Sultan was a vocal advocate of peace, stability, and co-existence among clans. He often called for the eradication of elements endangering the principles he stood for.

That, perhaps, explains why he was much respected in all circles – far and wide.

President Deni was quick to broadcast his sorrow on the shocking murder, ordering security agencies to find the killer without delay.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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