Al-Shabab, an al-Qaeda-linked armed group, plans to target Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed and Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble, the country’s intelligence agency warned on Tuesday.
Violence by the group, which aims to topple the UN-backed central government and impose its own hardline version of Islamic law, has been an impediment to parliamentary elections taking place since November.
“We informed the key government officials of a plot in which al-Shabab mafia wants to target the president and prime minister,” the National Intelligence and Security Agency said on Twitter. “Mohamed Mahir, senior al Shabaab member, is conducting the plot.”
The agency gave no further details.
Spokespeople at the offices of President Mohamed and Prime Minister Roble were not immediately available to comment.
Al-Shabab’s spokespeople were not immediately available to comment.
The group frequently attacks civilians and government officials and installations. In February, it attacked election delegates in the capital, Mogadishu. The delegates were unharmed but six bystanders were killed.
Late last month, al-Shabab killed 48 people in Beledweyne, about 300km (185 miles) north of Mogadishu, including traders, clerics, officials and civilians.
Among those killed was Amina Mohamed Abdi, a lawmaker and vocal critic of the government, on the eve of her expected re-election.