Blind female suicide bomber killed Mogadishu mayor

Nurses at the Medina Hospital assist a civilian wounded in an explosion. [Reuters]

The suicide bomber who killed the mayor of Mogadishu and six other people last month was a blind, female employee of the municipal government who was assisted by a fellow worker, Somalia’s internal security ministry said on Friday.

The al Qaeda-linked Islamist militant group al Shabaab, which aims to topple Somalia’s UN-backed government, claimed responsibility for the July 24 attack in the Somali capital.

Mayor Abdirahman Omar Osman, who previously served for a spell as a Labour Party councillor in London, died of his wounds a week later in Qatar where he was hospitalised.

Mogadishu Mayor Abdirahman Omar Osman at an event in Mogadishu, Somalia, on October 17, 2017. [File]

“Preliminary findings show a female who worked in the local government blew herself up herself with the help of another female, who... also worked at the local government,” the security ministry said in a statement carried on the state news agency.

SEE ALSO :Cuban doctors kidnapped in Mandera 'are well'

It was al Shabaab’s first known use of a disabled person as a suicide bomber and the statement suggested the bomber used her blindness to get past security and reach the mayor’s offices.

The whereabouts of the blind woman’s co-worker, who the ministry said was also a woman and helped her carry out the attack, was not known.

A month before the bombing, the two women took leaves of absence from work, the ministry statement said, and visited an area of Somalia controlled by al Shabaab.

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“The female bomber was disabled (blind). She misused the opportunity and acted with enmity against the bosses and the people she worked with,” the ministry statement said.

Osman fled as a refugee to Britain after civil war erupted in Somalia in 1991, earned a master’s degree, became a naturalized citizen and worked in the housing department in the London borough of Ealing.

SEE ALSO :Al-Shabaab raid a construction site in Mandera

He subsequently returned to Somalia to help rebuild his war-torn, homeland in the Horn of Africa.

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ShabaabMogadishuSomaliaMogadishu Mayor Abdirahman Omar Osman