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Regional minister and officials among 11 killed in Somalia attacks

By Staff reporter , Garowe Online
The slain minister for agriculture in HirShabelle Abdulkadir Abukar [Karani] was appointed to the post last week following a mini cabinet reshuffle

MOGADISHU, Somalia – At least 11 people, including a regional minister and other district officials, have been killed in separate Al-Shabaab attacks in the span of 24 hours, Garowe Online reports.

In the early hours on Monday, heavily armed militants attacked Gof-Gadud Burey, located some 35 kilometers away from the southern strategic town of Baidoa, and engaged a deadly gunfight with troops.

Al-Shabaab fighters managed to briefly seize the area after overpowering Southwest regional forces who retreated as their bases were overrun during the bloody battle, according to the local security officials.

At least 4, among them the area administrator Isak Ali and police chief Hassan Bako were among the dead from explosive devices [IEDs] strapped to the dead bodies of two Somali soldiers killed in the first attack.

Somali troops later regained control of the village on the same day following Al-Shabaab pull-out.

In a separate incident, a remote-controlled landmine has hit a busy livestock market in Balad-Hawo near the Kenyan border on Monday, killing six civilians and injuring eight others, some sustained severe wounds.

On Monday evening, Al-Shabaab gunmen assassinated the minister of agriculture for Hirshabelle regional state in Jowhar town, which lies 90 kilometers north of the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

Abdulqadir Abukar aka Karani, was killed while on his way home. He has been in office for just a week. Prior to the post, he served as state minister for regional finance ministry and a member of parliament.

The Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab extremist group has claimed responsibility for all attacks and the assassination against the minister through a statement posted on its affiliated websites.

Hirshabelle is facing worsening security as the regional state lost key figures, including lawmakers and ministers in Al-Shabaab attacks, some targeted convoys traveling on the 90-KM road between Mogadishu and Jowhar town.