The Somali government arrested two soldiers in connection with the killing a government minister in a suspected case of mistaken identity according to the minister of information.
Public works minister Abbas Abdullahi Sheikh Siraji died in his car on Wednesday when security forces on patrol in Mogadishu opened fire on the vehicle, believing it was being driven by militants, officials said.
The country’s youngest minister, the 31-year-old was an inspiration to many Somalis having grown up in a Kenyan refugee camp and his death caused an outpouring of grief online.
“Two bodyguards of the auditor general are now in the central cell in Mogadishu. We are investigating them over who killed the minister,” deputy prosecutor of Somalia’s military court, Mumin Hussein Abdullahi, told Reuters.
President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed cut short a visit to neighbouring Ethiopia to fly home and attend the burial.
“The public works minister was patriotic and known for his ability and efficiency,” said a statement from the president’s office.
Militants from the al Qaeda-affiliated group al Shabaab have carried out frequent attacks in Mogadishu as they fight to topple Somalia’s Western-backed government and drive out African Union peacekeeping troops.
Somalia has been at war since 1991, when clan-based warlords overthrew dictator Siad Barre and turned on each other.