MOGADISHU, Somalia Mar 15 (Garowe Online) -
A district commissioner survived a deadly explosion Sunday in the Somali capital Mogadishu, in another sign that the Islamist insurgency has yet to subside, Radio Garowe reports.
Ahmed Hassan "Da'i," the Wadajir district commissioner, was wounded when a roadside bomb exploded near Mogadishu's international airport, witnesses and officials said.
The driver was killed in the blast and two bodyguards were also wounded. All three wounded victims are being treated at a hospital run by the African Union mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
The Islamist armed group, Al Shabaab, claimed responsibility for the deadly bombing. Last week, a government security officer was killed in a similar fashion.
"The District Commissioner's health is fine," said the deputy commissioner of Wadajir district.
But local sources reported that Mr. Da'i had "lost a leg" in the explosion, although the reports could not be independently confirmed.
He becomes the first Mogadishu district commissioner to be targeted since the election of Sheikh Sharif Ahmed as Somali president in January. In 2006, Sheikh Sharif was the executive head of the Islamic Courts movement that seized control of Mogadishu, with Al Shabaab forming the movement's military core.
In 2007-2008, many district commissioners were gunned down in Mogadishu as the Islamist insurgency gained popular support in the face of Ethiopian troops, who are widely despised by most Somalis.
Source: Garowe Online