MOGADISHU, Somalia – The al Qaeda affiliate al-Shabaab has claimed to have shot and killed a United Nations-affiliated staff member in Galkacyo town of central Somalia.
The group says its assassins had successfully gunned down the UN local security assistant Mohamed Abdi Khaire, after leaving a mosque while he was on his way to home.
“We have been responsible for Khaire’s murder, he was UN local security assistant”, in a statement by al Shabaab said.
Khaire’s body was buried on Saturday, according to his relatives.
The Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Somalia, Raisedon Zenenga, condemned in the strongest possible terms the murder of Khaire.
Zenenga says Khaire served with distinction in the UN Department of Safety and Security during his tenure with the organization.
“We mourn the passing of Mr. Khaire, he said.
He added the entire UN family in Somalia extended their heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of deceased Khaire.
The UN has, however, called on the authorities to bring the culprits, who were responsible for the murder of its colleague into justice.
al-Shabaab, an al Qaeda linked group continues to hold small rural areas in central and southern Somalia
The group was pushed out of the Somali capital, Mogadishu, in 2011 after a joint offensive carried out by Somalia and African Union troops.
The rebel group wants to overthrow the weak UN-backed government in Somalia and impose its own strict interpretation of Islamic law.