Somali minister dies in blast

2011-06-10 22:35
Mogadishu - Somalia's Interior Minister Abdi Shakur Sheikh Hassan died from wounds suffered after an explosion at his house in the capital Mogadishu on Friday, the African Union peacekeepers Amisom said.

"Unfortunately the minister has just passed away," Paddy Ankunda, the Amisom spokesperson told Reuters.

"We condemn the barbaric acts in the strongest terms. The forces of peace will have their way."

The minister, Abdi Shakur Sheikh Hassan, was wounded after a female suicide bomber attacked his house, the minister's driver, police and African Union troops said.

His leg had been smashed and shrapnel had got into many parts of his body, senior police officer Nur Farah told Reuters.

It was not clear who was behind the attack, which caused no other casualties.

"I was at the gate when a veiled woman went into the house, Ahmed Mohamed, the minister's driver, told Reuters.

"Suddenly, I heard a loud explosion. I saw the flesh of the suicide bomber in the balcony near the minister's house. I went into his room and saw him lying injured," he said.

Relatives added the suicide bomber was also a close relative to the minister, but this could not be independently confirmed.


Mogadishu and other parts of Somalia have been rocked by two days of protests, with demonstrators railing against a deal to extend the mandates of the country's president and parliament.

Hundreds of supporters of the prime minister, who must resign under the terms of the deal, marched through the city's rubble-strewn streets chanting support for the prime minister.

Police have warned Mogadishu residents to watch out for attacks by al-Shabaab rebels, who security forces said may take advantage by carrying out attacks.

No central govt

While al-Shabaab appeared to be on the back foot following a sustained government push in which Hassan was a leading figure, Amisom has warned a bitter power struggle among the country's political leaders risks unravelling the military gains.

Somalia has been without an effective central government since the overthrow of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.

First clan warlords and now al-Shabaab Islamist insurgents ensured the government controls little territory outside parts of the capital Mogadishu.

The driver said he believed the suicide bomber - who was related to maids that work for the minister as well as to the minister himself, and a regular visitor to the house - had intended to enter Hassan's room, but was stopped by security personnel, at which point she detonated a device.

"She used to come to the house and was never suspected or inspected. She always had veil and face cover. But today she put on explosive belt and jacket under her veils," he said.
Read more on:    al-shabaab  |  somalia  |  east africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

You may need to consciously create clear structures today to help you anchor your ideas and goals to accomplish things today. more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.