Maltese manager shot dead in Somalia, Islamist militant group claims responsibility

Gunman shot dead the head of Dubai government-owned P&O Ports’ operations in Somalia’s semi-autonomous region of Puntland on Monday, a local government official said, and Islamist militant group al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack.

Yusuf Mohamed, governor of Puntland’s Bari region told Reuters that two men disguised as fishermen had shot Paul Anthony Formosa as he was going to Bosaso port this morning.

He was killed “in the fish market as he was going to Bosaso port this morning. The men armed with pistols hit him (with) several bullets in the head,” Mohamed said.

Formosa was rushed to hospital where he died of his wounds. One of the attackers was shot dead by security forces at the scene and the other detained, he said.

Al Shabaab said it had carried out the attack and accused Formosa of being in Somalia illegally.

“We are behind the operation … we had warned him but he turned deaf ear. He was illegally in Somalia,” said spokesman for Al Shabaab’s military operations, Abdiasis Abu Musab.

P&O Ports in Dubai did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In a statement, the Foreign Ministry said that in the early morning of Monday, a Maltese national who was a construction project manager for P&O Ports, a subsidiary of the Dubai-based DP World, was shot dead inside the port of Bossasso, Somalia. According to media reports, Islamist militant group Al Shabaab has claimed responsibility.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion is following the case closely and will issue additional information should there be significant developments.

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