Al-Shabaab militants claimed responsibility for attacks this week that killed two men in Somalia. The victims were a security officer and a man who was released from an Italian prison after being held 16 years in a wrongful conviction case.
The first explosive device targeted a vehicle carrying the police officer in the town of Afgooye, 30 kilometers southwest of the capital Mogadishu. The officer was killed when a landmine planted near a river bridge targeted his vehicle, officials said.
The second incident killed a man who served close to 16 years in an Italian prison.
Omar Hashi Hassan was killed by a bomb attached to his car in Mogadishu’s Dharkenley district, according to Somali police spokesman Abdifatah Adan, who spoke to VOA by phone.
Hassan was convicted for the March 20, 1994, murder of Italian reporter Ilaria Alpi and her cameraman, Milan Hrovatin. Hassan was later acquitted after it was determined he was wrongfully convicted.
Somalia’s new president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, has vowed to crack down on funding steams for the al-Shabab terrorists. The Islamist militants are believed to make millions of dollars per year from taxes they impose in areas of Somalia under their control. But security analysts say cutting off the terrorist funding won’t be easy.
Speaking Tuesday to Somali troops training in Turkey, Mohamud accused the Somali group of using extorted taxes to help finance terrorism across Africa and the world.
Reported by VOA.