Somali National Security Minister Omar Hashi Aden said on Friday he received intelligence reports that nearly 100 young men armed with pistols from the southern regions were deployed in Mogadishu "along with others already operating" in the city to carry out assassinations of parliamentarians and other officials of the government.
"As the (National Security) ministry was informing the lawmakers, one of them was killed and another official and his bodyguard were also killed," Aden told a press conference in Mogadishu.
Although the minister did not explicitly said who the alleged hitmen were, it was apparent that he was referring to the radical Islamist group Al-Shabaab, which was blamed for the recent killings, political analyst Harun Bile said.
"It seems the tit for tat has begun between the radical group of Al-Shabaab and the pro-government Islamists who have been until now refrained from any direct conflict with their comrades-in-arms, but now such an eventuality is inevitable," Bile told Xinhua in Mogadishu.
Shiekh Muqtar Robow Abu Mansuur, spokesman for Al-Shabaab Islamist movement which is opposed to the current government dominated by the moderate Islamists, denied any involvement in the assassination of the two Islamist officials and accused what he described as misguided Islamists of attacking Al-Shabaab positions in Mogadishu.
"They have attacked our positions and we repulsed them, capturing two battle wagons and two misguided holy warriors whom we have treated well and will be released in due course," Robow said in a phone news conference on Thursday night. ..more..http://english.cri.cn/6966/2009/04/18/45s475857.htm
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