An official of Somalia’s semi-autonomous state of Puntland narrowly escaped assassination Friday evening after his van was targeted by a roadside bomb in this central Somalia town.

A local resident, who asked for anonymity, told SBC  that Mohamed Yusuf Jama, Puntland’s governor of the Mudug region of central Somalia, survived the bomb attack in this town about 700 kilometers north of Mogadishu, but one person was wounded.

“One of his bodyguards was injured in the attack and rushed to a local hospital,” the witness said.

The vehicle was badly damaged by shrapnel, with its windows smashed, he added.

Immediately after the attack security forces arrived at the scene and started search operations. Several suspects were apprehended and taken to a local police station where they were being interrogated.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. Puntland authorities have not released a statement about the incident.

Insecurity and politically motivated killings have been on a sharp rise in Puntland and authorities usually accuse extremist group Al Shabaab of southern Somalia of committing plots and assassinations against political leaders, elders and peace activists.

SBC News Desk