Gunmen kill Somali lawmaker: security official

By AFP

Mogadishu (AFP) - Gunmen shot dead a Somali member of parliament and wounded another in the capital Mogadishu Saturday, security officials said, the latest in a string of assassinations of politicians in the war-torn country.

Lawmaker Yusuf Dirir Abdi was driving with another MP through the streets of the capital when gunmen in a minibus -- apparently done up to look like an ambulance -- pulled alongside and sprayed the vehicle with bullets, killing Abdi, and wounding his colleague and driver.

"The attackers were riding in a minibus with an ambulance logo, they opened fire on the lawmakers and then escaped the scene before the security forces reached the area," said Mohamed Abdiaziz, a security official.

The Al-Qaeda-affiliated Shebab rebels are fighting to overthrow the country's internationally backed government.

Shebab attacks in Somalia have targeted key government and security sites in an apparent bid to discredit claims by the authorities and African Union troops that they are winning the war.

"He was a man that has long served his country and wanted to see a united Somalia," Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Osman Jawari said in a statement. "We send our condolences to the relatives."

In a separate attack, gunmen killed a senior official from the transport ministry in another drive-by shooting.

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