Leader of Somali group al-Shabaab assassinated

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

According to reports, a senior commander for the Somali Islamist group al-Shabaab, Sheikh Daud Ali Hasan, was shot dead on Friday night in Kismayo.

The incident happened as Hasan was leaving a mosque in the city, when gunmen, whose identities are not known, approached and shot him in the head and chest, killing him. Hasan was in control of al-Shabaab's operations in Dhobley, near the Kenyan border.

Abdi Hasan Ise, who was a witness to the shooting, commented about the incident. "I heard gunshots and saw two men running; we rushed to the scene and there was a body lying there in a pool of blood," he said, as quoted by Agence France-Presse.

Another witness, Ahmed Daoud, said that "[a]t least three masked men armed with pistols shot Sheikh Daud Ali Hasan several times in the head and the chest as he was coming out of a mosque in Kismayo," as quoted by the BBC.

There are several rival groups in the area, but none of them have yet indicated whether they were responsible for the attack.

Sheikh Abukar Ali Adan, who is al-Shabaab's chairman in the vicinity, commented that the gunmen might have been apprehended, saying to a news conference that "[w]e have already arrested several suspects and we should bring them to the justice soon."