Islamic militants in Somalia have shot dead a senior manager running the port of Bossaso in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland, and a car bomb has killed at least 11 in Mogadishu.
The assassination of Paul Anthony Formosa, a Maltese citizen who worked for the Dubai government-owned P&O Ports, and the bombing in the capital, were both claimed by the extremist group al-Shabaab extremist group.
The company paid $336m (£260m) in 2017 for the contract to extend and manage the Bossaso port. The deal was unpopular with some local residents, however, and there were protests. In a statement claiming responsibility for the attack, al-Shabaab accused the victim of being in Somalia illegally.
Al-Shabaab released a statement through Radio Andalus taking credit for the assassination. The group said it previously issued warnings that the Dubai-based company was “illegally taking Somali natural resources”. The killing will be a setback to attempts to attract investment to the unstable, poverty-hit and violent country, and will highlight the continuing threat from the insurgents.
Hours after the shooting in Bossaso, at least 11 people died in a car bomb explosion in the capital. Capt Mohamed Hussein, a police official, said at least eleven people were also injured in the blast near a mall close to Mogadishu’s local government offices, in the city’s Hamar Weyne district.
The two incidents came just three weeks after a deadly assault by the group on a luxury hotel complex in Nairobi, in neighbouring Kenya.