MOGADISHU , Somalia, July 3 (UPI) -- A Somali Parliament member was shot and killed by al-Shabaab militants Thursday in the capital, Mogadishu.
Mohamed Mohamud Hayd, a former military officer, died after the car in which he was a passenger was sprayed with bullets while traveling through Mogadishu's heavily-defended port area. Hayd's bodyguard returned fire but was killed, and another parliamentary official in the car was wounded.
The assault was the fifth in five days on government personnel, and al-Shabaab -- an Islamist militant group with ties to al-Qaida that has waged combat to overthrow the Somali government since 2011 -- claimed responsibility.
Al-Shabaab has killed at least seven other government officials since it threatened to increase attacks during the holy month of Ramadan, which began Saturday. The group killed two parliament members in Mogadishu in April.
Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda -- all of which have troops in Somalia -- have been threatened by al-Shabaab as well.