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Somalia Minister Killed After Being Mistaken as Militant

Minister Abas Abdullahi Sheikh’s funeral was held in Mogadishu, Somalia, on May 3.Minister Abas Abdullahi Sheikh’s funeral was held in Mogadishu, Somalia, on May 3.

Somalia’s security forces have shot dead a 31-year-old government minister after mistaking him for a militant, officials have said.

He was killed in his vehicle near the presidential palace in the capital, Mogadishu, the officials were quoted as saying by BBC.

The president has cut short his visit to Ethiopia following Abas Abdullahi Sheikh’s killing, state radio reports.

Siraji was killed when bodyguards tasked with protecting Nur Jimale Farah, auditor-general, apparently mistook the minister, who was driving himself in a following vehicle, for an assailant.

Abas was killed “by mistake; they opened fire on his car accidentally. May God rest his soul”, Mogadishu mayoral spokesman, Abdifatah Omar Halane, was quoted as saying.

Farah said, “What happened was gunfire involving soldiers who had become suspicious of each other, and what happened was very bad-a brother was killed.”

He also asked to not “speculate about the details before the results” of the investigation become available.

Three soldiers have been arrested in connection with the killing, police said.

Police spokesman, Qaasim Ahmed, said two of the arrested soldiers were among the auditor-general’s bodyguards and the third was a bodyguard of the late minister.

It is rare for a government minister to drive himself, making mistaken identity a strong possibility.

Many government officials, wealthy individuals and foreigners drive around Mogadishu, a city that has been frequently targeted by armed group al-Shabab, with squads of armed bodyguards who are often nervy and trigger happy.

 

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