By Abdiaziz Loyal – Mogadishu, Somalia, Monday, March 30, 2020.
al-Shabaab militants have claimed the responsibility of the suicide bombing which killed a governor in Somalia. Somali President, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo has condemned the killing.
The Governor of Nugaal region in Somalia’s semi-autonomous administrative region of Puntland, Abdisalam Hassan Hersi succumbed to serious injuries after a suicide bombing targeted his convoy, late Sunday, March 29, 2020, near a police station in Puntland state capital, Garowe.
“The doctors tried to save the governor’s life but unfortunately he died from his injuries,” Mohamed Weli, a police officer in Puntland, said.
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 National Telegraph.
A former police commander and a civilian were also wounded in the blast, and all three were being treated in hospital, Puntland’s Interior Minister, Mohamed Abdirahman, told reporters.
Witnesses said the attacker ran at the vehicle in which he was traveling before detonating his explosive vest. “The governor and the former police commander were wounded seriously in the blast, the police sealed off the area after the blast,” said another witness.
Abdikarim Ahmed, another witness, said the bomber ran on to the vehicle of the Governor as he was parking near a police station before detonating his device.
Al-Qaeda affiliated al-Shabaab has fought to establish an Islamic state in Somalia since 2006. The militants were largely routed from Mogadishu in 2011 by the African Union’s Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) but they still control significant rural areas.
The group claimed responsibility for a massive car bomb in Mogadishu in late December that killed at least 90 people, the worst attack in the capital since 2017. Earlier that month, the militants stormed a Mogadishu hotel frequented by government officials.