Somali government spokesman injured in explosion in capital | News

A suicide bomber allegedly targeted Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu, who was rushed to hospital.

The Somali government spokesman was injured in an explosion in the capital in a suspected suicide attack, state media reported.

A photographer at the scene of the blast on Sunday reported seeing body parts lying on the ground outside the home of Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu, who was rushed to hospital.

The state-run Somali National News Agency said the blast at a road junction in Mogadishu was caused by a suicide bomber.

“A suicide bomber targeted the government spokesman who is currently being treated in hospital for his injuries from the blast,” police spokesman Abdifatah Aden told Reuters news agency.

Nasra Bashir Ali, special correspondent for state media in the prime minister’s office, where Moalimuu is based, said on Twitter that he suffered no life-threatening injuries in the attack, which left him took aim as he passed in his vehicle.

Reporter from Mogadishu, Al Jazeera’s Jamae Nour said it was not the first time Moalimuu, a former journalist, had been targeted in an assassination attempt.

“According to a statement from the national news agency, Moalimuu was assaulted by a person wearing a suicide belt. The attacker detonated the belt near Moalimuu as he was leaving his residence,” Nour said.

The Escalation of the Power Struggle

It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack.

Al-Shabab – an armed group linked to al-Qaeda that is fighting to overthrow the country’s UN-backed government – often claims responsibility for attacks around Somalia.

Violence was widely expected to increase as tensions mount in Somalia over a national election that has been delayed for nearly a year.

“Such attacks are purely political actions,” said Mohamed Abdulaziz Omar, a local civil society activist, adding that it had also happened in past elections in the Horn of Africa nation.

Somalia’s allies and international observers have expressed concern over an escalation in the power struggle between the country’s president and prime minister.

Moalimuu is Senior Media Advisor to Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble. Soldiers loyal to Roble gathered in the streets in December.

The show of force came after President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, better known as Farmaajo, announced the suspension of Roble’s powers over alleged corruption, a move the prime minister called a coup attempt.

Security force factions allied with Farmaajo and Roble seized parts of the capital in April as the prime minister and the opposition opposed a decision to extend the president’s four-year term by two years.

Clashes between the two groups have forced between 60,000 and 100,000 people to flee their homes.