Islamist militant group, Al Shabaab, is feared to have killed Somalia’s former defence minister with a car bomb in the capital, Mogadishu, on Monday.
Al Shabaab, which is aligned to al Qaeda, told Reuters it planted the car bomb that killed Muhayadin Mohamed, who was also an adviser to the speaker of Somalia’s parliament.
“We are behind his killing,” Sheikh Anbdiasis Musab, Al Shabaab’s military operations spokesman, told Reuters.
A police official confirmed that Mohamed was killed and said that a second person in the car survived the blast without serious injuries.
Mohamed was briefly defence minister in 2008 during Somalia’s transitional federal government, which was backed by the UN and had fought alongside African Union peacekeepers to push Al Shabaab out of Mogadishu.
Al Shabaab fighters left the capital in 2011 and a permanent Somali government was established in 2012, but the government has struggled to end chronic insecurity.
Al Shabaab, that planned to impose a strict version of Sharia law across Somalia, has frequently targeted government officials and lawmakers and vowed to attack Western targets at home and abroad.