A P&O Ports executive has been killed near Bossasso Port in Puntland, Somalia in an attack claimed by Islamist militant group Al Shabaab.
The governor of Puntland’s Bari region, Yusuf Mohamed, told Reuters that port manager Paul Anthony Formosa was shot by two men disguised as fisherman while on his way to the port.
Mohammed said that he was killed in the fish market and that “the men armed with pistols hit him (with) several bullets in the head.”
One of the attackers was killed by security forces at the scene while the other was detained, Mohamed told Reuters. Two guards at the port were also injured.
Al Shabaab accused Formosa, whose LinkedIn account states his nationality as Maltese, of being in Somalia “illegally”.
According to the BBC the Islamist militant group also accused DP World, which owns P&O Ports, of looting Somalia’s resources.
Abdiasis Abu Musab, al-Shabaab’s military operations spokesman, said: “We are behind the operation… we had warned him but he turned [a] deaf ear. He was illegally in Somalia.”
DP World won a 30-year concession in 2017 worth $336m to develop and manage the Bossasso port, which many residents opposed and staged protests during which at least one person was killed.
The Somali parliament passed a bill banning DP World from Somalia in 2018 and declared the deal null and void as it accused the operator of violating the country’s sovereignty.