Somalia: Farmajo critic Amina Mohamed Abdi among people killed in Baladweyne blasts

MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – An outgoing MP Amina Mohamed Abdi, a critic of the incumbent President who had earlier accused his allies of murdering a female intelligence agent, was among a number of politicians killed in subsequent bomb attacks in the central Somalia town of Baladweyne on Wednesday night.

The former MP, who had traveled to Baladweyne to retain her parliament seat despite challenge from an ally of the current acting President, was targeted inside the highly protected Lamagalaay base where polls have been taking place over the past weeks.

Another ex-MP Ali Abdi Dhuhul, who was vying for Hop058 seat was among the dead while former Somali Minister of Education Abdirahman Dahir Osman sustained injuries from the attacks. Details on casualties are scarce as the town witnessed internet and electricity blackout shortly after three consecutive explosions had been heard.

Amina said earlier this month that the government was trying to block her from seeking re-election due to her strong condemnation over the murder of a female intelligence officer Ikran Tahlil Farah. read more

She earlier accused President’s allies, including former spy chief Fahad Yasin and the current acting boss of the agency of being behind the Ikran’s disappearance and said that prosecutors had been blocked from launching an investigation into the case. read more

A second explosion said to be a suicide car bomb took place outside Lamagalaay base, targeting vehicles carrying dead bodies and injured people. A third blast was heard in Baladweyne within a few minutes. Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility.

Two fighters of the Al-Qaeda-affiliate forced their way into the heavily fortified Halane base in Mogadishu on Wednesday morning, killing several foreigners and African Union peacekeepers. The attack also disrupted operations at the city’s main airport and a number of flights were canceled. read more

Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo and Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble sent condolences over the death of Amina Mohamed. The Premier instructed security agencies to launch a probe into the incident.

Former President of Hirshabelle State Mohamed Abdi Ware said, in a tweet, that the “assassination” of the outgoing MP was orchestrated by Somali President’s office. The leader of Wadajir party Abdirahman Abdishakur linked the attacks to attempts by Farmajo to silence his critics. Somaliguardian has been unable to verify the claims independently.

At least 13 people were killed and 18 others wounded in the central Somalia town last month after a suicide bomber blew himself up at a busy restaurant that witnesses said had been packed with officials and politicians. read more

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