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Somali Regional MP Killed in Al-Shabab Landmine Explosion

by Laacib

A Somali regional parliamentarian was among three people killed in a landmine explosion in the town of El Garas blamed on al-Shabab militants.

Local officials say Mohamed Mohamud, known as Mohamed Yare, was killed Monday in the explosion.

A local city councilor in the city of Dhusamareb, Abdullahi Ibrahim, and a civilian were also killed, regional Information Minister Abshir Abdi Sheikhow told VOA Somali.

“The incident happened after they stepped on the landmine planted by the terrorists, and they died there,” Sheikhow said. “When they [al-Shabab] were leaving the town they planted lots of landmines. The coalition forces conducted mine clearance but these officials took the wrong road and they met the explosion.”

The officials were accompanying Somali government and local forces who captured the town from al-Shabab early on Monday.

“We are in a war, we are prepared for that, things like this can happen,” Sheikhow said.

Sheikhow said Galmudug state leader Ahmed Abdi Karie was “not far” from the area of the explosion but is unharmed. He said the region’s parliament and the cabinet members were released from work so that they can take part in the ongoing offensive against al-Shabab.

Immediately after government troops captured El Garas, Karie, Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency chief Mahad Salad, and Somali Defense Minister Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur visited the town, state media reported.

On Sunday, Somali government forces repulsed an al-Shabab attack on a key base in the strategic town of Awdhegle in the Shabelle region. The Somali government and al-Shabab each said they inflicted heavy losses on the other.

It’s unclear if government forces will hold the town or vacate after the operation.


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