A prominent Somali journalist, Abdiaziz Mohamud Guled, has been killed by an Al-Shabaab suicide bomber in the capital, Mogadishu.
Guled, a Radio Mogadishu director, commonly known as Abdiaziz Afrika, was killed in the blast which occurred as he was leaving a restaurant on Saturday, November 21.
The attack wounded several other people, including the director of Somali National Television and a driver.
The veteran journalist, who was a critic of the Islamist armed group, was well known for his interviews with detained suspects and his broadcasts often attracted large audiences.
Government official Ismael Mukhtar Omar, an ex-colleague of Abdiaziz, said that police had confirmed that the blast had been caused by a suicide bomber.
“He came out of the restaurant and went into his car with a colleague after they had dinner and the suicide bomber ran onto the car window and detonated himself,” said another colleague Ali Mohamed.
My cousin Abdiaziz was killed by a suicide bomber immediately after he went out to a restaurant … He died as he was rushed to hospital. He always shone a big light on al-Shabab, may God rest his soul.” his cousin, Abdullahi Nur, told Reuters news agency.
In a statement, Somalia’s Deputy Information Minister Abdirahman Yusuf Omar said the country had lost a “brave man”.
Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble, who offered his condolences to Guled’s family.
“Abdiaziz was a hardworking journalist and national hero who worked for his country, his people and his religion with courage and relentlessness,” he said.
Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack and had targeted the journalist for ‘committing crimes against Islam’
“The mujahideen had been hunting Abdiaziz for a long time. He committed crimes against Islam, he was involved in the killing of mujahideens,” Abdiasis Abu Musab, al-Shabab military operation spokesperson, told Reuters.
The journalist was buried today.