Mogadishu – A top Somali police official was killed Friday in a bombing claimed by Al-Shabaab while carrying out a military offensive against the Islamists, the prime minister said.
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has vowed to stage an all-out-war against the Al-Qaeda-linked jihadists, who have waged a 15-year insurgency against the central government.
General Farhan Mohamud Adan was part of an elite police unit pursuing the militants and was killed near the Al-Shabaab-controlled village of Bursa, some 30 kilometres (20 miles) north of the capital Mogadishu.
“May the God accept the martyrdom of general Farhan Mohamud Adan who (was) martyred while promoting the dignity of our religion and the honour of our nation,” Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre said in a statement.
“We will never be deterred due to the loss of a brave (soldier) or two… but this will rather make us inspired to stay in the right path.”
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It was not immediately clear how many had died in the explosion, which was claimed by al-Shabaab.
Adan led the Mogadishu police central command and an elite Turkish-trained police unit called Haramcad (leopard in English), which was known for operations against the militants.
“The desperate terrorists will never deter us from our objective to ensure security in the country,” said Somali police spokesman Colonel Sadik Dudishe.
The jihadist group has carried out several attacks in the mainly Muslim country since Mohamud took office in May, including a 30-hour hotel siege last month in Mogadishu that claimed at least 21 lives.
The militants were driven out of the capital in 2011 by an African Union force, but control large swathes of the countryside and retain the ability to launch deadly strikes on civilian and military targets.
Last week, a suicide attack claimed by the group killed at least seven people and wounded nine others in Mogadishu.
The US army said this month it had killed 27 Al-Shabaab militiamen in an air strike in central Somalia in support of the country’s security forces.
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