The governor of Mudug, a region in Somalia's semi-autonomous state of Puntland, was killed with three of his bodyguards in a suicide car bombing on Sunday that was claimed by Islamist group al Shabaab, police said.
"A suicide car bomb hit the governor's car. Governor Ahmed Muse Nur and three of his bodyguards died," police captain Mohamed Osman told Reuters.
Al Shabaab has been fighting for years to topple Somalia's western-backed central government and frequently carries out bombings in Somalia and elsewhere in the region. The group wants to establish its own rule in the Horn of Africa country, based on its own strict interpretation of Islamic sharia law.
"We are behind the explosion. It was a suicide car bomb. We killed Mudug region governor and his three bodyguards," al Shabaab's military operations spokesman Abdiasis Abu Musab told Reuters.