Somalia’s Defense Minister, Army Chief Resign.

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Somali officials say the country’s defense minister and army chief have resigned as the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab group steps up attacks on army bases across south and central Somalia.

Defence Minister Abdirashid A. Mohamed has resigned following a similar move by chief forces Gen. Ahmed Mohamed Irfid both of whom have served barely six months since they were appointed.

An official in the prime minister’s office says Defense Minister Abdirashid Abdullahi Mohamed has resigned, citing lack of consultations on issues related to his ministry. The official says army chief Gen. Mohamed Ahmed Jimale has also submitted his resignation to the president.

Information Minister Abdirahman Yarisow told reporters the minister resigned out of personal reasons but did not indicate circumstances surrounding Gen. Irfid’s resignation only noting, ‘he resigned and he was replaced.

Mohamed was the first defense minister in Prime Minister Hassan Khaire’s administration which came into office March this year.

Both Mohamed and Gen. Irfid pointed fingers at the government over communication mishap during the August Bariire killings in which the government admitted the army killed 10 civilians. Both Villa Somalia and the Information Minister Abdirahman Yarisow had to withdraw statements which had suggested the victims were members of the militant group Al-Shabaab.

Defense Minister Mohamed and army chief Gen. Irfid affirmed the victims were civilians and had been killed by security forces.

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