Another Somali MP shot dead

kenyan mpMOGADISHU. — Gunmen shot dead a lawmaker in the Somali capital Mogadishu yesterday, a fellow MP said, the latest in a string of assassinations of politicians in the war-torn country.

“Abdulahi Qayad Barre was shot dead, men killed him as he left his house to go to parliament,” his colleague Abdukarim Hajji said.

The latest attack came amid tight security as lawmakers gathered to vote on whether to approve a new cabinet, after parliament rejected the new prime minister’s last list of candidates.

At least five MPs were killed last year, but Barre was the first to be assassinated this year.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabaab rebels are fighting to overthrow the country’s internationally-backed government.

The extremists say they are targeting MPs as they allowed the deployment of foreign troops on Somali soil.

Somalia’s parliament is also driven by political infighting, prompting repeated warnings by international donors that the power struggles are stalling progress.

Somalia is due to vote on a new constitution next year ahead of elections in 2016, but al-Shabaab remains a major threat.

In another development, Al-shabaab spokesperson Sheikh Abdul Aziz Abu Musab has warned Somali MPs that they are “legitimate targets” to be killed or captured, following the latest killing of a lawmaker. — AFP.