Somali lawmaker shot dead in drive-by shooting

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Somali lawmaker shot dead in drive-by shooting
Somali soldiers stand guard at the main gate of the presidential palace in Mogadishu, Somalia, Wednesday, July, 9, 2014. Somali troops retook the presidential palace in the capital of Mogadishu after militants forced their way in and exchanged heavy gunfire with troops and guards Tuesday, the latest attack underscoring the threat posed by Islamic extremist group al-Shabab in east Africa. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)
Armed members of the Kenyan security forces march in single file along narrow paths leading through the dense swamp and forest, searching for the attackers, in the remote village of Kaisari, near Mpeketoni, about 60 miles (100 kilometers) from the Somali border on the coast of Kenya Tuesday, June 17, 2014. Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta, in a nationally televised address Tuesday, blamed political leaders inside Kenya for carrying out two nights of deadly attacks that killed at least 60 people in coastal communities, saying that despite claims of responsibility from al-Shabab, the Islamic extremists were not behind it. (AP Photo)
Sheikh Muhammad Khalifa (C) Chairman of the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya (CIPK) addresses a press conference with others Muslim leaders on June 17, 2014 in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi following the massacre of over 60 people along the Kenyan coast in attacks claimed by the Somalia-based Shabab islamists. Kenya's top Muslim leaders warned Tuesday that Islamist attacks and a harsh government response risked dividing the country along ethnic and religious lines that could trigger a repeat of the deadly post-election violence six years ago even as al-Shabab claimed a new attack in which 15 people have been killed just 24 hours after Somalia's Shebab rebels massacred close to 50 people in the same area. AFP PHOTO/Tony KARUMBA (Photo credit should read TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images)
In this Friday, July 18, 2014 photo, a victim injured after an attack is carried on a stretcher to Malindi sub county hospital in Witu, Kenya. The Kenya Red Cross says seven people have been killed after gunmen attacked a bus along the Kenyan coast where previous attacks had left 87 people dead. The humanitarian group said Saturday the attack Friday night came at Corner Mbaya, 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the coastal town of Witu. Al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab militants from Somalia claimed responsibility for the attack. (AP Photo)

By Abdi Guled
Associated Press

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) -- Gunmen killed a Somali lawmaker in a drive-by shooting Wednesday in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, a police official said.

Lawmaker Saado Ali Warsame, who also was a popular singer of Somali folk music, was shot dead by gunmen who pulled up near her car as she was being driven to a hotel, said Somali police Capt. Mohamed Hussein.

The Somali Islamic extremist militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack on Warsame, who is one of few women in Somalia's parliament.

She is the the fourth lawmaker killed this year in militant attacks that increasingly target members of Somalia's parliament, which has emerged as a pillar of democracy in the Horn of Africa nation. This is the second drive-by shooting of a lawmaker since the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, during which scores of civilians and government troops have been killed in militant attacks.

Mohamed Ali, a Somali lawmaker who knew Warsame, described her as "courageous and patriotic," saying she was the victim of terrorists who "want to cripple the country."

Warsame's driver was also killed in the attack which happened in Mogadishu's Hodan district, considered to be one of the safest places in the seaside city because of heavy security presence, according to Hussein.

Al-Shabab, which has links with al-Qaida, has previously carried out attacks against government officials, African Union peacekeepers and United Nations staff in a deadly campaign of suicide bombings and gun attacks. Militant attacks have continued despite al-Shabab being ousted from its bases in Mogadishu in 2011.

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