Somali interior minister escapes assassination attempt
A senior Somali minister Thursday survived an assassination attempt in the capital Mogadishu following a roadside bomb blast that killed his secretary, a government official said, Xinhua reported.
Interior Minister Sheikh Abdulkadir Ali Omar was near his home when a roadside bomb went off killing his secretary but the minister survived the blast, said Abdurahim Isse Adow, spokesman for the Islamic Courts Union (UIC) of which Omar was a vice chairman.
"The minister is ok and was not harmed in the blast. He will speak with the media soon," Adow told Xinhua.
Minister Omar is a close ally of the Somali president and has been the leader of the armed wing of the former Islamist opposition group led by the current President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed.
His membership in the Somali government was seen as crucial step in the reconciliation between former Somali government and the armed opposition groups that fought it.
No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack but the hardline Islamist Al-Shabaab movement has been vowed to fight the new Somali government officials.
The group, which controls much of southern Somalia and is listed by the U.S. as a terrorist group, has assassinated a number of Somali government officials.