Al Shabaab militants kill senior official in Somalia’s Puntland

By Abdiqani Hassan and Feisal Omar

BOSASSO Somalia Dec 20 (Reuters) – Al Qaeda-affiliated al
Shabaab militants shot dead an aide to a regional official in
Somalia’s semi-autonomous Puntland region on Tuesday, the second
such attack in a week, police said.

Aden Huruse, a director in Puntland’s presidential palace,
was attacked at a restaurant in its main city Bosasso, police
told Reuters. “Two men armed with pistols fired several bullets
into his head. He died on the spot,” said Major Mohamed Hassan,
a Bosasso police officer.

Al Shabaab regularly targets officials throughout Somalia.
Its insurgency aims to drive out African Union peacekeepers,
topple Somalia’s Western-backed government and impose its strict
version of Islam on the Horn of Africa state.

Tuesday’s shooting occurred six days after al Shabaab gunmen
killed the region’s deputy police commander Jamac Sahardiid
outside a hotel in Bosasso.

“This evening we killed the director in Bosasso. We were
also behind the killing of Puntland’s deputy police commander
days ago,” said Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, the militant’s
military operation spokesman.

The al Shabaab insurgency persists in Somalia as it pursues
reconstruction after more than two decades of conflict and chaos
that have left the nation in tatters.

Somalis are now voting across the country for a new
parliament, which will choose a new president.

(Writing by Aaron Maasho; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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