Somali minster dies of suicide attack wounds

13:59, June 11, 2011      

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The undated file photo shows Somali Interior and Security Minister Abdishakur Sheikh Hassan. Abdishakur Sheikh Hassan died on June 10, 2011 after sustaining severe wounds in a suicide attack at his home in the capital Mogadishu, a government official said. (Xinhua/Ismail Warsameh)

Somalia's interior and security minister on Friday died after sustaining severe wounds in a suicide attack at his home in the capital Mogadishu, a government official said.

A female suicide bomber attacked Minister Abdishakur Sheikh Hassan who died of his injuries after being rushed to hospital, Somali Information Ministry spokesman Abdelfatah Abdinur told Xinhua.

The spokesman would not confirm reports that the suicide attacker was a close relative of the minister, who was a key member of the government campaign to drive Islamist rebels out of the capital city of Mogadishu.

Several other people were reported to have been injured in the attack including the minister's bodyguards.

Islamist Al Shabaab movement has claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was part of their "holy war" against the Somali government and African Union peacekeepers.

Islamist rebels who oppose the Somali government often carry out similar suicide attacks against government officials and AU peacekeeping troops.

The radical Al Shabaab movement has in the past weeks faced major losses to the government military offensive aimed at flushing out the rebel group, which controls part of the capital and most of the southern and central Somalia.

The rebel fighters vowed to attack government positions and figures and warned people to stay away from government installations.

Huge protests in support of Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Abdulahi Mohamed have for the past couple of days been held in Mogadishu and other government-controlled areas in southern and central Somalia.

The premier, who is credited with crushing the Islamists in Mogadishu, is expected to tender his resignation within 30 days in accordance with an agreement between the Somali president and speaker of the Somali parliament to end months of political wrangling.

Al Shabaab commanders have vowed to regain lost grounds from government forces and AU peacekeepers and threatened to step up suicide attacks against targets of Somali government and AU peacekeepers.

Source: Xinhua
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