Al-Shabaab assassinates regional minister in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia - A regional minister became the latest casualty of Al-Shabaab terrorists, the Galmadug state announced on Saturday evening, following an unprecedented shooting in the capital Mogadishu, in the latest incident involving senior government officials and the Somalia-based militants.
According to a statement issued by authorities in Dhusumareb, Farhiya Abdi Mohamed, the state minister for Transport and Aviation, was killed instantly by armed Al-Shabaab militants who were trailing her in the heavily fortified zone in the capital city, which is under surveillance by security forces.
It is not clear why the militants targeted the minister but traditionally, Al-Shabaab militants have been targeting senior government officials, members of security forces, and even innocent civilians. The militants have been on a revenge mission having been toppled from strategic towns by advancing security forces.
Reports of shooting in Mogadishu targeting regional minister. Local media reported that the regional state minister for transport and aviation for Galmudug State has been the target of an assassination.
Officials blamed “Khawaarij” [term used to describe Al-Shabaab] for the assassination of Farhiya, who was described as a "diligent and hard-working" public servant. Ahmed Kaliye alias Qoorqoor, the president of Galmadug state, termed the death as "unfortunate" and a "massive blow" to the people of Galmadug.
Last month, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud announced that by the end of this month, Galmadug and HirShabelle are some of the states which could be completely liberated from the Al-Shabaab extortionists. For the last seven months, Al-Shabaab has been under intense pressure in their hideouts across the country.
Security forces led by the Somali National Army [SNA] in close collaboration with the US Africa Command, the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia [ATMIS], and local militia have been recovering villages that had been under the militants for decades.
The US Africa Command has pledged to work closely with Somali troops in a bid to recover more territories in central and southern Somalia where the militants are predominant.
The Somali government has also asked for assistance from members of the international community geared toward empowering local troops.