MOGADISHU (AFP) — Gunmen on Wednesday shot dead a Somali lawmaker in the country's war-riven capital Mogadishu, a police officer told AFP.
Abdullahi Issa Adow was gunned down by unknown assailants in Mogadishu's northern Huriwa district, becoming the first casualty in the government of new President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed.
"The attackers were reported to be three. We are searching for those criminals and we will arrest them," said the official, who requested anonymity.
Another lawmaker said he saw gunmen in a vehicle open fire at the member of parliament before driving off.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but Islamist insurgents have repeatedly targeted government officials.
Despite the January election of Ahmed, a moderate Islamist leader, hardline Islamist Shebab rebels and other militia have refused to put down arms, further frustrating efforts to restore stability in the Horn of Africa state.
Ahmed was elected in neighbouring Djibouti under a UN-mediated reconciliation that brought his opposition umbrella group into the government and later relocated to Mogadishu.
In February, the Islamists mounted some of the fiercest attacks against his forces during which more than 20 civilians were killed.
Earlier this month, two lawmakers were shot and wounded by suspected Islamist gunmen.
The government has no complete control of Mogadishu and also lost control of south and central Somalia regions to the Shebab, including the official parliament seat of Bidoa.
Somalia has lacked an effective central government since plunging into civil war with the 1991 ouster of president Mohamed Siad Barre.
Copyright © 2013 AFP. All rights reserved. More »