Youngest Somali Minister killed near presidential palace


Abbas Abdullahi Sheikh Siraji, 31, the Somali Minister of Public Works and Reconstruction was shot yesterday near the Presidential Palace.

The Somali government said it was investigating the killing Wednesday of the public works and reconstruction minister, who was shot by another government official’s bodyguards.

According to some witnesses, Siraji was killed by gunshots fired from a vehicle in which Nur Jimale Farah, Auditor General, was riding.

“Siraj’s bodyguards suspected a vehicle behind them was transporting a suicide bomber. The vehicles were about 500 meters from the Presidential Palace when the bodyguards opened fire,” said Farah.

In his condolence message to the family of the deceased, the Somali information minister said, “We are very sorry about the incident that happened in Mogadishu this evening that killed one of our youngest, brightest ministers, Minister of Public Works. Siraj was full of promise and energy and commitment, determination, loyalty and nationalism, so we are in a state of shock.”

At 31, Siraji was among the first Somali refugees to return to the country last year from the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. He was also the youngest minister to serve in the cabinet that Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire announced in March.

Siraji got his primary and high school education in the Kenya’s refugee camp and received his university education in Garissa and Nairobi where he studied computer science. And finally in 2011 he returned to Somalia to move on with his life.

Siraj before his fatal death was known as a core nationalist who was keenly concerned about the welfare of his people and the return of peace in Somalia.

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