Conflict & Justice

Somali President Mohamud survives assassination attempt


Somalia elects peace activist Hassan Sheikh Mohamud as president.



Just days after the world celebrated the first Somalian election of a president in decades, Islamist rebels have tried to kill him. Al Shabaab, a terrorist group in Somalia with links to Al Qaeda, has claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on Wednesday targeting new Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. “We are responsible for the attack against the so-called president and the delegation,” Shabaab spokesman Ali Mohamud Rage told Agence France-Presse

The suicide bomb occurred at the gates of a hotel in Mogadishu, where President Mohamud was staying, BBC News reported. The president and hotel guests were unharmed, but the bomber and four security officers were killed. 

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The attack reveals the major security challenges that Somalia's new president is facing after his historic election, Reuters reported.

On Tuesday, a spokesman for the Al Shabaab terrorist group had warned that it saw Mohamud's presidency as illegitimate. It will probably not be comforting for the president to learn that the Shabaab group has "nothing personal" against him. Before the attacks, the Shabaab spokesman had told the AFP: "Nothing personal, but the whole [election] process is like an enemy project."