MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Gunmen killed a Somali lawmaker in a drive-by shooting Wednesday in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, a police official said.
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, one of few women in Somalia's parliament and the first female legislator killed by the group.
She is 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.