The suicide bomber who killed the mayor of Mogadishu and six other people was a blind, female municipal government employee assisted by a fellow worker, Somalia’s internal security ministry said.
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 as a Labour Party councillor in London, died of his wounds a week later in Qatar.
“Preliminary findings show a female who worked in local government blew herself up with the help of another female, who also worked at local government,” the security ministry said in a statement on the state news agency.
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 breach security and reach the mayor’s offices.
The whereabouts of the blind woman’s co-worker was not known.
A month before the bombing, both women took leave, the ministry statement said, and visited part of Somalia controlled by al Shabaab.
“The female bomber was blind. She misused the opportunity and acted with enmity against the bosses and people she worked with,” the ministry statement said.
Osman fled as a refugee to Britain after civil war started in Somalia in 1991, earned a master’s degree, became a naturalised citizen and worked in the housing department in the London borough of Ealing.
He subsequently returned to Somalia to help rebuild his war-torn, homeland.