Death toll from Somalia attack that killed lawmaker rises to 15
Aim is to disrupt upcoming elections – prime minister
Mogadishu – The death toll from Wednesday's attack in central Somalia in which a parliamentary election candidate was killed has risen to 15, state-run television said.
Amina Mohamed, a vocal critic of the government, was killed by a suicide bomber in the city of Beledweyne, around 300km north of Mogadishu, witnesses and relatives said.
"Police in Beledweyne town launched operations to secure the town after terrorist suicide bombings had killed 15 people last night," state-run Somali National Television said on its Twitter account.
No one claimed responsibility for the attack.
Somalia is conducting parliamentary elections in an indirect process that involves clan elders picking the 275 members of the lower house, who then choose a new president on a date yet to be fixed.
In a statement late on Wednesday, Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble said Wednesday's killings were aimed at disrupting the elections.
On February 19, another blast in Beledweyne, the provincial capital of the Hiran region, killed 15 and injured 20 people. The targets of the suicide bomb attack in the crowded restaurant was seemingly some of the politicians and government officials who were in the establishment at the time.
Meanwhile, data from the election commission shows that the election of 246 lawmakers has so far been been completed, ahead of the April 15 deadline.
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