Bomber targets ex-Somali police chief, kills 2

2012-01-31 18:11

Mogadishu - A suicide bomber killed two security agents on Tuesday in a failed bid to murder a former Somali warlord and one-time government police commander in the semi-autonomous Galmudug region, a military official and residents said.

One witness said the bomber shot dead Abdi Hassan Awale's armed driver at the entrance to the compound in the town of Galkayo before detonating his explosives when a bodyguard jumped on him. Awale was unhurt, residents said.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack.

"The bomber killed the driver with a pistol and the guard with the blast," Colonel Mohamed Hussein told Reuters, adding that both were policemen.

Local shopkeeper Farah Elmi, who witnessed the attack, confirmed the sequence of events. The bomber's dismembered corpse was visible inside the compound, he said.

Awale, who hails from Galmudug, had been mediating in a row between the regional president and local lawmakers, according to Hussein.

The town of Galkayo straddles Galmudug and the semi-autonomous Puntland region more than 500km north of Mogadishu in central Somalia.

Earlier this month a local militia abducted a foreign journalist holding dual US-German citizenship from the town.