Conflict & Justice

Somalia: Mustafa Haji Maalim, member of new Somali parliament, shot dead in Mogadishu


Ugandan African Union peacekeepers patrol the outskirts of Mogadishu on September 12, 2012. Somalia's president survived an assassination bid today, just two days into his new job, when bomb blasts claimed by Islamist rebels rocked the Mogadishu hotel where he was meeting Kenya's foreign minister. Al-Qaeda linked Shebab insurgents claimed responsibility for the attack in which two blasts rocked the hotel where the new president was staying.



Mustafa Haji Maalim, a member of Somalia's new parliament, has been shot dead in the capital Mogadishu.

Gunmen attacked Maalim as he left a mosque Saturday following evening prayers, the BBC reported.

CNN said he was gunned down in front of his house in Mogadishu's southern district of Waberi, and later died from his injuries at a nearby hospital.

The Somali speaker of parliament, Mohamed Osman Jawari, said Maalim was killed by "elements that are known for cruelty," an apparent reference to the Islamist militant group Al Shabaab, according to the BBC.

So far no one has claimed responsibility for the attack. Al Shabaab has previously vowed to kill government officials in the Horn of Africa nation.

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In a statement, Austine Mahiga, the UN's special representative to Somalia, said he was "shocked and outraged" by the killing of Maalim.

“These cowardly acts of targeted assassinations and indiscriminate bombings cannot deter the remarkable courage of the Somali people, whose tenacity and determination has overcome formidable obstacles and brought us where we are now," Mahiga said.

“This loss has come very early in the life of the new parliament whose work is central to the new path that Somalia has chosen. It is a reminder of the challenges faced by the new institutions and administration,” he said.

The UN statement said Mahiga is the father-in-law of Somalia's former president Sheikh Sharif.

On Thursday, a suicide attack in Mogadishu targeting the popular Village restaurant killed at least 15 people, including journalists and police officers.

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