Unidentified assailants have shot and killed a prominent Somali Elder in Somalia’s southern town of Barawe on Tuesday night.

Eyewitnesses said two men armed with pistols executed Seyduna Hajow in the heart of the town in the evening and fled the scene before the arrival of the security forces.

The late elder has served in the past as the secretary of the district administration between 1985-1991. He was a local peace activist since the collapse of the former central government.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the murder of the elder, but, security officials in the area say they believe Al Shabaab was behind the assassination.h

Barawe, which is a strategic city in Lower Shabelle region fell to Somali government forces backed by Kenyan military in 2015 after driving out Al Shabaab from the town during a major offensive.