Suicide bomber targets Somali minister

16:43, June 11, 2011      

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Somalia's Minister of Interior and several others were severely injured on Friday after a suicide bomber targeted the senior official's residence in the capital Mogadishu, sources said.

The attacker, who is believed to be a female, managed to get close to the interior minister, Abdishakur Sheikh Hassan Farah, before detonating the explosive device, a government official, who sought anonymity, told Xinhua.

The minister and several of his family members and bodyguards, whose injuries were said to be severe, were rushed to a field hospital of the African Union peacekeeping forces based in Mogadishu.

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

The radical Al Shabaab movement has during the past several weeks been facing major losses to the government military offensive aimed at flushing out the rebel group which controls parts 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 the Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Abdulahi Mohamed have for the past two days been taking place in Mogadishu and other government controlled parts in southern and central Somalia.

The Primer, who is credited with crushing the Islamists in Mogadishu, is expected to tender his resignation in accordance with an agreement between Somali President and speaker of the Somali parliament, ending months of political wrangling.

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

Source: Xinhua
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