Somalia's internal security minister was killed Thursday in a massive suicide car bombing in central Somalia, the country's president said.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
"Minister Omar Hashi [Adan] was killed in a suicide attack," President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed said at a news conference at his presidential palace in Mogadishu.
He blamed the attack on international terrorists who have invaded Somalia.
The bombing targeted the hotel where Adan had been staying in the central city of Beledweyn, according to Yusuf Dabged, the governor of Hiiraan region.
Somalia's former ambassador to Ethiopia, Abdikarin Farah Laqanyo, was killed alongside the minister, government officials said.
"The explosion caused by the suicide [bomber] was so huge and could be heard [in] all corners in the city," according to a journalist in Beledweyn who asked not to be identified.
Adan -- a key minister in Somalia's newly elected transitional government -- was in the region to coordinate operations against Islamic militants, according to recent interviews he gave to the media.
His death will be a major setback to Ahmed, whose government is facing a strong backlash from Islamic militants.
Source: CNN, June 18, 2009