Attack at Somali Port Kills Manager at Dubai-Owned Operation

Dekedda magaalada Boosaaso ee xarunta Gobolka Bari. Sawirka: Feisal Omar/Reuters

GAROWE, Somalia — Gunmen shot and killed a manager at a Dubai government-owned port operation in Somalia’s semiautonomous region of Puntland on Monday, a local government official said, and the Islamist militant group known as the Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Shabab were also suspected to be behind a car bombing at a shopping mall in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, later in the day. The blast killed 11 people and wounded 10 others, the police said.

The attack at the port in Bosaso came when two men disguised as fishermen shot the executive, Paul Anthony Formosa, at a fish market as he was traveling to work, said Yusuf Mohamed, the governor of the Bari region of Puntland, where the killing took place.

Mr. Formosa, a citizen of Malta, died of his wounds at a hospital. One of the attackers was shot and killed by security forces at the scene, and the other was detained, the Bari governor said. The Dubai-based port operator, P&O Ports, said three others were injured in the shooting.

Abdiasis Abu Musab, a spokesman for the Shabab’s military operations, said the militant group was behind the killing. “We had warned him but he turned a deaf ear,” he said of Mr. Formosa. “He was illegally in Somalia.”

The attack on P&O Ports comes as the United Arab Emirates has rapidly expanded its port operations and military presence in Somalia and across East Africa. P&O Ports has had operations in Bosaso since 2017, when it won a 30-year concession to expand and manage the port.

The Shabab said they had targeted P&O Ports because it “occupies” the Bosaso port. The militant group is trying to remove the Western-backed central government in Somalia and establish its own rule based on a strict interpretation of Shariah law.

Its militants have been known to carry out attacks outside Somalia, especially in Kenya, where it has sought to pressure the country’s leaders to withdraw troops who form part of an African peacekeeping force that helps defend the government.

The Shabab’s latest assault in Kenya, a suicide and gun attack at an office and hotel complex in the capital, Nairobi, last month, killed 21 people.

Source: Reuters