July 25, 2015 / 4:06 PM / 2 years ago

Al Shabaab kill three people in Somali capital, including politician

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Somali militant group Al Shabaab said it had carried out two attacks in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Saturday in which gunmen killed a lawmaker and his bodyguard as well as an official from the prime minister’s office.

Al Shabaab’s spokesman for military operations, Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, said the group was responsible for the killings in Mogadishu’s Madina district.

The al Qaeda-affiliated Islamists were pushed out of Mogadishu by African Union peacekeeping forces in 2011 but have continued their attacks in a bid to overthrow the government and impose its strict version of sharia law.

Police said the gunmen escaped after shooting a government official in a morning attack and lawmaker Abdullahi Hussein and his bodyguard in the afternoon.

The group often targets politicians and officials in Somalia, as well as African Union and Somali forces. It has also carried out attacks in neighboring Kenya, where U.S. President Obama is currently on a visit. In April, al Shabaab killed 148 people Garissa University College.

Obama told Kenya on Saturday the United States was ready to work more closely in the battle against al Shabaab.

Reporting by Abdi Sheikh and Feisal Omar; Writing by George Obulutsa; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky

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