Gunfire in Somali capital kills Somalia’s public works minister

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abas-sirajiBy Mohammed Dhaysane

MOGADISHU, Somalia

Somalia’s Minister of Public Works and Reconstruction Abbas Siraj was shot dead in capital Mogadishu on Wednesday evening following a gunfire from Somali government forces, officials said.

The incident took place in front of the presidential place in Mogadishu.

Mohamed Bulle, a police captain in the area, told Anadolu Agency over the telephone that the 31-year-old minister was killed after forces belonging to Somali government opened fire into his car near the state house in Warta Nabada district.

“Abbas Siraj, Somalia’s public works and reconstruction minister, was killed near the presidential palace by government soldiers. We don’t yet know the motive behind this [shooting] but an investigation is underway,” Captain Bulle said.

Information Minister Abdirahman Osman Yerisow also confirmed the incident in a short statement posted on his Facebook account, saying the “Somali minister of public works died this evening in Mogadishu following gunfire from soldiers”.

A former humanitarian worker, Abbas Sheikh Abdulahi Siraj grew up in Dadab, the world’s largest refugee camp in northeastern Kenya. He was the youngest member of the Somali cabinet, as well as the youngest MP.

Hassan Ali, MP from Jubaland state where Siraj was elected, called on the Somali government to hold accountable those who were behind the killing.