Al-Shabab Rebels Claim Killing of Somali Interior Minister

Posted June 11th, 2011 at 4:50 am (UTC-5)
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Somalia's al-Shabab rebels have claimed responsibility for Friday's suicide bombing death of Somalia's Interior Minister.

An official says Abdi Shakur Sheikh Hassan was killed inside his Mogadishu home during a meeting with associates. Several other people were wounded.

Security officials and a witness say a female believed to be a relative of Hassan blew herself up inside the house.

Prime Minister Mohammed Abdullah Mohamed told VOA the attack was “heartless and un-Islamic.”

Al-Shabab has used suicide bombings to gain control of the Mogadishu and large sections of central and southern Somalia for at least three years.

However, government and African Union forces have retaken parts of Mogadishu in an offensive that began in February.

Al-Shabab is trying to overthrow the U.N.-backed government and set up a strict Islamic state.