Somalia's youngest minister shot dead

Indo Asian News Service

Mogadishu, May 4 (IANS) Somalia's security forces on Thursday shot dead the country's 31-year-old minister after mistaking him for a militant, officials said.

Abbas Abdullahi Siraji was the youngest minister of the new Somali cabinet formed after the historic presidential elections on February 8, BBC reported.

Siraji, Minister of Public Works and Reconstruction, died on Wednesday after guards opened fire on the vehicle he was in near the presidential palace, mistaking it as a "suspicious car".

Somali President Abdullahi Mohamed "Farmajo" cut short his visit to Ethiopia following Siraji's killing and announced he would be attending the slain minister's funeral in the capital on Thursday, the state radio reported.

Additionally, the President ordered the arrest of those responsible for the death and four guards have already been detained, according to the local media.

Siraji was part of a new government composed of 25 members, including six women, whose main challenge was to rebuild a country devastated by war, terrorism and famine.