Roadside blast kills four in Somalia

Roadside blast kills four in Somalia
Wed Mar 11, 2009
MOGADISHU, March 11 (Reuters) - Insurgents detonated a remote-controlled roadside bomb in Mogadishu on Wednesday killing a senior Somali security official and three other people, witnesses and officials said.
Al Shaabab, a movement of Islamist militants fighting the government and the African Union peacekeepers helping it, claimed responsibility and promised more attacks.
The blast killed former prime minister Ali Mohamed Gedi's security chief -- who is also working for the new government -- as well as his brother and two bodyguards as they were driving in the north of the coastal capital, police said.
"The officer and several of his body guards perished on the spot in the blessed explosion. His car was ruined there and then," Shabaab said in its website,
"Al shabaab makes clear again that our Mujahideens (fighters) will continue operations against foreign troops, government officers and their soldiers. Wherever they pass, we shall keep our eyes on them," it said.
The failed Horn of Africa state has suffered civil conflict for nearly two decades, and Western security services fear it could be a base al Qaeda-linked militants.
In a separate development, al Shabaab rejected as hypocritical a vote in favour of implementing Islamic sharia law passed this week by President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed's cabinet.
"It's the plot of infidels," said Sheikh Hassan Yaqub, spokesman for al Shabaab in the southern port of Kismayu.
The group says Ahmed, a moderate Islamist who once led a sharia courts movement, is now in league with foreign powers and has ulterior motives for introducing Islamic law. Al Shabaab imposes a strict form of sharia in areas it controls.
Analysts say Ahmed's move is part of his strategy to neutralise the threat from armed opponents and pacify Somalia. (Reporting by Abdi Guled, Ibrahim Mohamed and Abdi Sheikh; Editing by Katie Nguyen)

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