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Somalia's Minister of Interior and National Security, Abdi Shakur Sheikh Hasan Farah, has died after a suicide attack at his home, Minister of Information Abdikarim Jama told Somalia Report.
The minister was rushed to Banadir Hospital with serious injuries, but has since died following the explosion at his home in Soobe near KM4 junction.
"The minister died at this moment because he was seriously injured,” Nadiya Mohamed, a nurse in the hospital told Somalia Report.
Militant Islamist group Al-Shabaab is claiming responsibility for the attack, while a police source confirmed to Somalia Report that the bomber was the minister's niece, who came from abroad and had been "brainwashed" by al-Shabaab.
Sources reported that the minister's brother, Abdiqadir Hirsi Qaaf, was the father of the female bomber. The girl had apparently been in the minister's home around noon asking him to send her to university. Other sources say the girl was his second cousin.
Earlier in the day, the Minister addressed demonstrators (photo) at Masjidka Isbahesii in the heart of the capital. In his speech, he said that the enemy must not be given a chance to strike back, referring to recent gains against al-Shabaab by African Union-backed government forces.
Somali Government Condemns the Murder
Government leaders, the United Nations and the African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia (known as AMISOM) have condemned the killing of the minister.
"I am really sending my sentiments to all the Somali people, inside and outside the country, as well the family of our colleague Abdi Shakur Sheikh Hassan Farah, whom we lost in the evil suicide attack carried out by the terrorist group al-Shabaab," President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed.
Somalia's Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo has also condemned the killing.
“We have lost a great and talented colleague within my government. He was brave and mindful and I wish for him mercy, and may God bless him. We also share the sadness with his family and Somali people," said Farmajo.
“Since al-Shabaab claimed the responsibility for this barbaric and cowardly attack, then this government will never stop its attacks against those so-called Islamic group al-shabaab," he added.
It was the second suicide attack in as many days, as al-Shabaab takes advantage of massive protests against Sheikh Sharif and the parliamentary speaker for striking a deal that calls on Farmajo to resign and a new cabinet to be formed.
(Muhyadin Ahmed Roble also contributed to this report.)