A suicide bomber killing two and injuring four others in a targeted attack on an official in the northern Somali province of Togdher, according to Garowe Online.
The bomber targeted the vehicle of Ahmed Mohamud Dalol, former minister of interior of the state of Khaatumo, who was killed along with Abdifatah Mohamed Ali, an ex-finance head of the defunct Hizbul Islam group, whose members defected to Al-Shabaab in 2013. Ali turned away from religious non-state groups and became an adviser to Omar Abdirashid Ali, the former Somali prime minister, serving the government between 2014 and 2017.
The two were killed just after 7pm Somali local time. Police told Garowe Online that the suicide bomber attempted to stop the vehicle Dalol and Ali were travelling in when they did the bomber "greeted" the two before detonating an improvised explosive suicide belt.
The suicide bomb attack marks a first for the Northern Province, according to Garowe Online. No armed group, including Al-Shabaab, has claimed responsibility for the attack.
LATEST – A curfew slaps on #Buhodle city of Togdher province northern #Somalia after deadly suicide attack which deceased two well-know politicians, and wounded more than four. It's not clear who staged, but investigations underway. pic.twitter.com/lX9uTwt8OS
— Abdi Rahman Adani (@abdi_adaani) August 2, 2018
The Al-Shabaab group often strikes government targets in densely populated areas across Somalia. The group is battling to topple the central government and impose its rule based on its own strict interpretation of Islamic law. It has killed thousands of Somalis and hundreds of civilians across East Africa in a decade-long insurgency.
Al-Shabaab fighters last week detonated a suicide car bomb before storming a military base in the south of Somalia, killing some 27 soldiers. In retaliation, the United States executed air strikes against Al-Shabaab sites.
The United Nations Security Council voted to delay the reduction of troops in the peacekeeping mission in Somalia. Despite some progress against Al-Shabaab over the years, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres fears much of that is "reversible".
UK defence minister 'surprise' visit
UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson paid a surprise visit to the Somali capital Mogadishu yesterday to reaffirm Britain's support for the war torn country. Discussions reportedly revolved around the African Union Mission in Somalia and the capability of Somali forces to assist with the transition plan for independent governance.
The British government has a special regiment of 85 military personnel stationed to train and work with the African Union Mission in Somalia.