Al-Shabab militant group has claimed responsibility for the assassination of a parliament member of Somalia’s northeastern semi-autonomous region of Puntland.
In a statement released on Saturday, the militants said they killed the lawmaker of “the Puntland parliament in northern Galkayo” town, warning that “such attacks will continue.”
MP Said Hussein Nur was shot dead by heavily armed gunmen as he left a mosque after evening prayers on Friday.
In an address to a gathering at the mosque, Nur reportedly called on Galkayo residents to stand against violence.
Puntland’s vice president, Abdihakin Abdulahi Haji, confirmed the lawmkaer’s murder, saying he suspected that al-Shabab militants were accountable for the killing.
Nur is the second Puntland lawmaker to be shot dead in recent weeks. MP Adan Haji Hussein was killed by Shebab militants last month in the capital city of Mogadishu, where he was on a visit.
Somalia has been the scene of deadly clashes between government forces and al-Shabab elements since 2006.
The militants have been pushed out of Mogadishu and other major cities by government troops and the African Union Mission to Somalia, which is largely made up of troops from Ethiopia, Uganda, Burundi, Djibouti, Sierra Leone, and Kenya.
The al-Shabab members have, however, continued to carry out attacks in Mogadishu despite being ousted from their bases in the seaside city in 2011.