A Somali lawmaker was assassinated and another wounded onMonday by a car bomb in Mogadishu, the prime minister said, the latest in a seriesof bomb attacks in the war-ravaged capital."Somalia has today lost a committed parliamentarian who worked tirelessly to servethe people of Somalia and help rebuild our country," Prime Minister Abdiweli SheikhAhmed said in a statement, referring to slain MP Isak Mohamed.The attack comes as the government holds a security conference hoping to tacklecontinued attacks by Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab insurgents."This cowardly attack will not derail the progress made in Mogadishu and acrossSomalia," Ahmed added.Mohamed was killed when a bomb stuck to a vehicle he was in exploded inMogadishu's Hamarweyne district, near the port and close to the heavily fortifiedgovernment district.His colleague and fellow MP Mohamed Abdi was wounded."The explosive device was attached to the car of the lawmaker... we are investigatingand hunting the perpetrators to bring them to justice," said Abdukadir MohamedAbdukadir, commissioner of the Hamarweyne district.- 'Burned to death' -Witnesses said the lawmakers were driving when the explosion occurred."The car went off as it was passed by... one of them burned to death, the other onewas seriously injured," said Mohamed Adam, a witness.The Shebab have been driven out of fixed positions in Somalia's major towns by aUN-mandated African Union force, but still regularly launch attacks that includebombs and guerrilla-style raids.No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but AU representative forSomalia Mahamet Saleh Annadif condemned the killing and pointed the finger ofblame at the Islamists."We will continue to fight these extremists who are interested in inflicting violenceon innocent civilians," he said in statement.Somalia's political elite are also divided along rival clan lines, and factionalinfighting is common.The blast comes a day after Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud opened thethree-day security conference, where he claimed that the "culture of lawlessness thathas plagued Somalia for the last 23 years is coming to an end."Recent Shebab attacks have targeted key areas of government or the security forces,in an apparent bid to discredit claims by the authorities that they are winning the
war against the Islamist fighters.The security conference is also addressing the huge challenges faced by the war-ravaged country ahead of scheduled elections due for 2016, despite Shebab stagingattacks in the heart of government."There is a desperate shortage of resources across the whole securityinfrastructure," Mohamud admitted Sunday.In February, Shebab militants carried out a major attack against the heavilyfortified presidential palace, killing officials and guards in heavy gun battles.AU troops fighting alongside Somali government forces launched last month a freshoffensive against Shebab bases, seizing a series of towns, but withtheinsurgentslargely fleeing in advance and escaping unscathed to strike back in guerrillaattacks.