Somalia’s Al-Shabaab insurgents assassinated a lawmaker and his guards, the president said, hours after US President Barack Obama said the Al-Qaeda affiliated militants had been “weakened”.
Gunmen sprayed the car of MP Abdulahi Hussein Mohamud with gunfire as he traveled through a southern district of the capital Mogadishu earlier Saturday, killing him, his two guards and the driver.
“The lawmaker was martyred while serving the nation, but such killings will not deter us from going forward,” Mohamud told reporters.
The Al-Shabaab said in a statement that their “mujahideen fighters targeted and killed a member of the parliament and his guards”, adding that they “will continue targeting” lawmakers.
The Al-Shabaab have carried out repeated attacks including a campaign of suicide attacks and assassinations targeting government figures.
UN envoy to Somalia Nicholas Kay called the murders a “despicable act”.
Witnesses said the militants fled after the attack.
“They opened fire on the car of the lawmaker and all of the passengers including him died,” witness Abdirahman Mire said.
The Al-Shabaab is fighting to overthrow Somalia’s Western-backed government which is propped up and protected by the 22,000-strong African Union force (AMISOM).