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Security forces and others observe the remains of the vehicle in which Somalia’s government spokesperson Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu was wounded in a suicide bombing in Mogadishu, Somalia on Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022.

Security forces and others observe the remains of the vehicle in which Somalia’s government spokesperson Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu was wounded in a suicide bombing in Mogadishu, Somalia on Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022. (Farah Abdi Warsameh/AP)

MOGADISHU, Somalia — Somalia's government spokesperson was wounded Sunday in a suicide bombing that the al-Shabab extremist group has claimed responsibility for.

Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu appeared to be the sole target in the attack near his residence by a busy intersection in the capital, Mogadishu. A statement from the prime minister's office called Moaliimuu's wounds non-life-threatening.

It has been widely expected that such attacks would increase as tensions rise in Somalia over a national election that has been delayed for almost a year.

"Such attacks are purely politically motivated actions," said Mohamed Abdulaziz Omar, a local civil society activist, adding that it also occurred in past elections in the Horn of Africa nation.

Moalimuu, a former BBC journalist, also survived an attack in August 2020 after being wounded in a siege that killed 15 people at a beachside hotel in the capital. He was secretary-general of the Federation of Somali Journalists at the time. The al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab extremist group, which controls parts of Somalia, also claimed responsibility for that attack.


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