Al-Shabab Militants Kill National Security Officer

Al-Shabab extremists opened fire on a national security officer in Mogadishu, killing him and one other.

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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.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.