Somali Interior Minister Dies in Suicide Attack, Allegedly by Nieceإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
An explosion Friday in the home of Somalia's interior minister killed him and a woman suspected of being a bomber as violent demonstrations swept the capital.
Interior Minister Abdishakur Sheik Hassan, who also was minister for national security, died after shrapnel hit his legs and other parts of his body, said Ministry of Information spokesman Abdifatah Abdinur.
He was earlier taken to a hospital in critical condition. Abdinur said a dead body of a female suspected to be the bomber was found in the home.
Mohamud Abdullahi Weheliye, a member of parliament and a relative of Hassan's, said the minister's niece carried out the attack and that she was "sent by al-Shabab," an Islamist militia with ties to al-Qaida.
The group has carried out suicide bombings in the past, including ones that targeted government officials. There was no immediate official confirmation of Weheliye's account.
Abdinur said officials were investigating to confirm it was a suicide attack in the two-story, gated building that is normally well protected. The explosion reportedly took place in the sitting room.
"The walls of the sitting room cracked and blood and debris were scattered all over," said Mohamed Mohamud, a witness who visited the site after the explosion. The house is near the Foreign Ministry and in a neighborhood inhabited by government officials and members of parliament.
For a country that has been swept by war and anarchy for two decades, Friday was a particularly bloody day and came barely two days after President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed and the speaker of parliament signed an internationally mediated agreement extending the government's term by a year. It postponed an August presidential election until 2012 to give leaders more time to deal with security and political issues.