MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Islamist militants shot dead a Somali lawmaker in the capital Mogadishu on Friday by blocking his car and spraying him with bullets, police and witnesses said, after the fifth killing of a legislator in less than four months.
Al Shabaab said they killed Aden Madeer because he brought “Christian enemies” to Somalia, a reference mainly directed at African Union forces which are battling the Islamist group and remain the backbone of security in the embattled nation.
Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, the spokesman for al Shabaab’s military operations, said the rebels would kill lawmakers “one by one” if they continued to back President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s government.
Al Shabaab gunmen killed two lawmakers in April and two more in July.
Witnesses said Madeer was gunned down outside a mosque in Mogadishu’s Hamar Weyne’s district.
“When he started his car, gunmen blocked him with another car and opened fire on him,” said Abdullahi Osman, who witnessed the attack. “The gunmen then disappeared with their car.”
Legislator Dahir Amin Jesow said the killings would not deter other members of parliament. “Those MPs whose life span has ended will die but we shall continue our work,” he said.
Writing by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by Alison Williams