, MOGADISHU, July 3 – Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab claimed responsibility for shooting dead a lawmaker and wounding another on Thursday, the latest in a surge of attacks in Mogadishu during Islam’s holy month of Ramadan.
“This was a targeted assassination. We also wounded another MP and two body guards,” Shabaab spokesman Abdulaziz Abu Musab told AFP.
A witness said MP Ahmed Mohamud Hayd, a former minister and a senior army commander, was killed in the capital’s port district, one of the most heavily policed areas in the heart of the city.
“We will continue to hunt other MPs if they do not leave the apostate organisation,” Abu Musab added.
Gunmen in a car opened fire on the lawmakers as they left a hotel, spraying bullets at the small group of people.
The district is close to both parliament and the presidential palace.
“The gunmen were driving in an expensive car and escaped after the killing. Police and other security forces sealed off the area,” said Abdi Liban, a witness.
The Shabaab have vowed to intensify attacks during Ramadan.
“They were going to attend a parliament session when they have come under attack. One of the lawmakers was confirmed dead,” fellow MP Abdi Bare Yusuf told reporters after the attack.