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Senior Somali anti-terror force officer shot dead

Mogadishu: A top Somali security officer was shot dead in the country’s capital Mogadishu Saturday by gunmen in a drive-by shooting, witnesses and police said.

The officer, Mohamed Qanuni, was the deputy commander of the anti-terrorism unit of Somalia’s National Intelligence and Security Agency.

“The attackers shot the officer as he drove his car along the street and they escaped the scene,” police officer Muse Farah told Xinhua.

Witnesses said the assailants were travelling in an unmarked car and sped away after shooting at the vehicle.

Qanuni was recently appointed to the post in the unit that fights Al Shabaab militants in Somalia, media reported.

Al Shabaab Islamist militants claimed responsibility for the killing of the officer.

The killing of Qanuni is the second attack by the Al Shabaab group since the death of their leader Ahmed Abdi Godane two weeks ago.

The group launched deadly twin suicide car bomb attacks on African Union Mission in Somalia and against Somali government officials in Mogadishu this week.