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Somalia: Farmajo condemns Nugal governor's assassination by Al-Shabaab

By Staff reporter , Garowe Online

MOGADISHU, Somalia - Somali president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo has termed the elimination of Nugal Governor as heinous, Villa Somalia said, in a rare phone call to Puntland President Said Deni on Sunday.

The governor, Abdisalam Hassan Hersi, soldiers and former Nugaal regional police commander Farah Galangoli had been badly wounded following a suicide bombing in Garowe on Sunday evening, the first in 5 years in the peaceful city.

But Hersi would later succumb to his injuries at the Garowe General Hospital, leaving the two others fighting for their lives in the facility, officials said, without disclosing their condition.

And in a statement issued by Villa Somalia, Farmajo condemned the attack, adding that perpetrators should be brought to the book "as soon as possible" in honor of the slain governor.

"The president called Puntland president and expressed his condolences following the heinous murder of Nugal governor. He expressed his deepest sympathies," read a statement from Villa Somalia.

Sunday's call to Deni was the first from Farmajo, who has been at loggerheads with virtually all Federt States' leaders, who accuse him of among others, "secret" plot to overthrow them in favor of his "loyalists" ahead of December polls.

The statement added: "He wished the injured persons quick recovery and pledged to work closely with the state to ensure security is enhanced at all parts of Puntland."

While details of the governor's mission in Garowe and his company remain sketchy, he's however, believed to have spent the better part of Sunday within the city, which serves as the capital of Puntland, officials said.

A man wearing a suicide vest walked closer to the car carrying the officials and then detonated himself, dismembering the vehicle completely just near a police station, witnesses said.

The attack took place near a police station, further raising questions about the preparedness of security forces to tackle terrorist attacks in Puntland, the safest state in terms of security and progressive leadership.

Al-Shabaab militants took responsibility for the attack, although they did not divulge to finer details on the motive, on why the governor would have been their target at that particular time.

While the group controls a significant number of towns in rural central and southern Somalia, it has an invisible presence in Puntland.

Only IS-Somalia has been sighted in the northern part of the state, although the group is dysfunctional given its frequent squabbles with Al-Shabaab, authorities said.

Significantly degraded, Al-Shabaab has, however, carried out small to large scale sporadic attacks across Somalia, targeting mainly security forces, foreigners and political leaders.

Last week, a suicide bomber detonated himself also in a busy restaurant near Parliament Buildings in Mogadishu, leaving three civilians dead, police confirmed.

In recent weeks, the group has also suffered casualties in various towns across the country, notably, the loss of Janaale town to SNA and AMISOM troops a fortnight ago.

But Farmajo's call to Deni could set the pace for much-needed dialogue in Somalia, which is at fundamental stages on election preparations. Deni has been pushing for a national conversation in recent weeks.

A fortnight ago, he revealed his intentions to visit Mogadishu to lobby for the forum, which among others, he said, would help the FGS and federal states frame a "better strategy" in the fight against Al-Shabaab.


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