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Suicide bomber kills 2 lawmakers on peace mission in central Somalia

DHUSAMAREB, Somalia May 2, 2012 (Garowe Online) - An Al Shabaab suicide bomber entered a restaurant in Dhusamareb town of central Somalia targeting a delegation of Somali politicians and lawmakers, Radio Garowe reports.  

There were 7 people killed including 2 lawmakers identified as MP Yusuf Mire Serar and MP Abdiweli Sheikh Mohamed, who died shortly after the explosion from their injuries.

Ahlu Sunna leader Sheikh Yusuf Hefow said Al Shabaab is responsible for the suicide bombing.  Speaking on VOA Somali Service, the leader of pro-government Ahlu Sunna militia identified the bomber as Mohamud Artan Adawe Ulusow, adding that the bomber "came from Elasha Biyaha."

Elasha Biyaha is located between Mogadishu and the southern farming town of Afgoye, 30km south of Mogadishu. Since 2007, Elasha Biyaha area sprouted in population and buildings as IDPs escaping Mogadishu fled there for safety.

On Wednesday, a plane transported 8 injured persons from Dhusamareb to Addis Ababa for medical treatment including Somali politician and media owner Mr. Ahmed Abdisalam Aden. Mr. Aden, a former TFG information minister, told Somali media that he is "recovering" in Ethiopia and condemned the bombing.

A delegation flew from Mogadishu consisting of politicians, MPs, military officers and businessmen who traveled to the central regions of Galgadud and Hiran aiming to form a new regional government in central Somalia. Supporters said the delegation was "on a peace mission" and was involved in visits to meet local communities in Dhusamareb, Guri El and Abudwak towns of Galgadud region.

Al Shabaab spokesman Ali Mohamud Rage "Ali Dheere" claimed responsibility for the bombing and told local media that the bombing is "revenge" for American air strikes that killed Al Shabaab former leader Aden Hashi Ayro in Dhusamareb on 1 May 2008.

Both MPs, Yusuf Mire Serar and Abdiweli Sheikh Mohamed, who were killed in the suicide blast in Dhusomareb, became Somali parliamentarians after a 2008 peace deal. Both victims were former warlords in self-proclaimed Jubba Valley Alliance that administered Kismayo area for 7 years.

Suicide bombings began in Somalia in 2006, after the rise of the Islamic Courts movement then led by current Somali President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed. Most suicide attacks are concentrated in Mogadishu, but suicide bombers have killed innocents in Baidoa, Beledweyne, Galkayo, Bossaso, and Hargeisa.

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