Somalia: Blast injures governor, kills bodyguard near Mogadishu
MOGADISHU, Somalia - A roadside bomb explosion has wounded the newly appointed Lower Shabelle governor, Mohamed Ibrahim Barre outside Mogadishu on Saturday morning, Garowe Online reports.
Barre has sustained minor injuries when a vehicle he was traveling in ran over an improvised explosive device (IED) bomb planted on Mogadishu-Afgoye road by the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabab Islamist group.
Abdifitah Hajji Abdulle, the deputy governor of Lower Shabelle who confirmed to Garowe Online said three other officials, including Elasha Biyaha Commissioner Ayan Hassan, were also wounded in the attack.
"The governor and Elasha Biyaha village administrator suffered slight wounds after their pick-up vehicle drove an IED which was planted near Siinka Dheer area along Mogadishu-Afgoye road," he added.
At least one bodyguard was killed, he said.
Barre was appointed as the new governor of Lower Shabelle region, a hotbed of terror in southern Somalia last May by President of Southwest State, Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden.
The al-Shabab militant group claimed responsibility for the attack, which was the latest in series of IED blasts on the main street targeting Somali and African Union [AU] troops, as well as local Somali officials.
The incident comes at a time when the military operation to flush out Al-Shabab militants from Lower Shabelle province has been intensified in recent months.