Somali militants linked to al-Qaeda have taken credit for the suicide bombing that yesterday killed the country's interior minister, and the BBC reports that they used his own niece to carry out the attack. The teenager, who had been recruited by al-Shabab, walked unchecked past guards and detonated. Interior Minister Abdishakur Sheik Hassan died shortly afterward of shrapnel injuries, reports the AP.
The blast marked the third suicide bombing in a week, al-Shabab is vowing "brazen attacks deep inside enemy territory" in its quest to topple the government in Mogadishu. A spokesman for the group said Hassan was assassinated because he represented "an obstacle" toward that end. Security in Mogadishu is heightened: "We know that they're planning to conduct more attacks," says an information ministry spokesman. "If they used to be screened once in the past, today they are being frisked twice." Hassan's funeral is today. (Read more Somalia stories.)