Al-Shabab militants assassinated a senior Somali national security officer in Mogadishu Saturday, in an apparent attempt to show the group's strength since U.S. strikes killed its leader a week ago.
The official, Mohamed Qanuuni, had recently taken the post of deputy commander in charge of anti-terrorism activities after his predecessor was similarly killed just two months ago, according to authorities.
"The gunmen blocked a car in front of his car and then opened fire on him," Major Bile Hussein, a police officer, told Reuters. "The man who was killed today had replaced another senior officer who had been killed two months ago."
Al-Shabab has also killed at least three Somali parliamentarians this year.
"We have killed the deputy anti-terrorism force commander and another colleague of his in Mogadishu today," Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, spokesman for al-Shabab's military operations, told Reuters.
"He was one of those who eavesdrops on telephones," he said.
Al-Shabab has vowed revenge for the death of its leader, Ahmed Godane, who was killed last week by a U.S. airstrike. Also on Saturday, the U.S. embassy in Uganda warned Americans in the country to stay indoors because Ugandan authorities warned of a terrorist plot that may target U.S. citizens.