The governor of Nugaal region in Somalia’s semi-autonomus region of Puntland Abdisalam Hassan Hersi has succumbed to serious injuries he sustained in a suicide bombing on Sunday evening near a police station in Puntland state capital, Garowe.
The governor was pronounced dead last night at Garowe general hospital where he was admitted for medical treatment. According to reports, a man wearing suicide vest blew himself near a vehicle carrying the governor, a former police commander and a number of security guards.
Witnesses said the attacker ran at the vehicle in which he was travelling before detonating his explosive vest. A former police commander and three security guards were also wounded in the blast, and are undergoing treatment at Garowe general hospital, officials said. Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility, according to a statement shared on the group’s propaganda websites.
The statement only said that several officials were wounded. The Shabaab rebels are fighting to overthrow Somalia’s internationally backed government. They have also carried out revenge attacks across the wider region against countries that contribute troops to the African Union force in Somalia, Amisom.
Al-Shabaab attacks in Somalia have targeted key government and security sites in an apparent bid to discredit claims by the authorities and AU troops that they are winning the war.
Last week, Alshabab fighters claimed responsibility on an attack to a city councilor Muktar Omar Tinle in North of Galkayo town of Somalia’s central region. The local councilor later succumbed to injuries at a local hospital in the town. The militant group, together with branch of the Islamic State in the country, operate in Bari Regin’s Golis mountain ranges. Both groups have been carrying out attacks and assassinations against Puntland security forces, who have been struggling to expel the militants from the region.