Mogadishu, Somalia, Mar 30 – A governor in Somalia’s Puntland has been killed in a suicide bombing claimed by the al-Shabaab jihadist group, police and hospital sources said Monday.
Abdisalan Hassan Hersi, governor of Nugaal region, succumbed to his injuries after being rushed to hospital in Garowe, the capital of Puntland where the blast occurred Sunday.
“The doctors tried to save the governor’s life but unfortunately he died from his injuries,” Mohamed Weli, a police officer in Puntland, told AFP by phone.
“He was in a critical condition when he was admitted to hospital.”
A source at the hospital, who did not wish to be identified, said the governor died less than an hour after being admitted to the intensive care ward.
“He was badly wounded in the blast and he had little chance of surviving such serious injuries,” the source told AFP.
A former police commander and a civilian also wounded in the blast were being treated at hospital, officials said Monday.
Several witnesses described the attacker running at the governor’s vehicle before detonating a suicide vest, triggering an explosion.
Al-Shabaab, an Islamist militant group waging a deadly insurgency in Somalia, claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement.
The Al-Qaeda affiliate was driven out of Mogadishu in 2011 and lost most of their strongholds, but still control vast swathes of the countryside.
They have vowed to overthrow the internationally-backed government in Mogadishu and have carried out many attacks in the capital.