A Somali journalist with state-run media was killed Saturday in Mogadishu when a suicide bomber blew up his car, government officials and his colleagues said. Another journalist also was injured.
Abdiaziz Mohamud Guled, better known as Afrika, the director of the state-run Radio Mogadishu, died from his wounds, while fellow journalist Sharmarke Warsame, who was traveling with Guled, sustained a severe injury, according to government spokesperson Mohamed Ibrahim Mo’alimuu.
In a brief statement, Mogadishu police spokesperson Abdifatah Aden Hassan said that the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber.
Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the blast, according to Agence France-Presse.
“A terrorist suicide bomber apparently wearing an explosive vest rushed towards the car in which the journalists were traveling in the Bondhere district of Mogadishu, jumped to the car window, and blew himself up,” Hasan said.
“He was a national hero, a brother, and friend, and we are deeply saddened by his death,” Abdirahman Yusuf Omar, Somalia’s deputy minister for information, wrote on his Facebook page.
Guled was a prominent journalist and had worked with different private radio and TV stations in Mogadishu before he joined the Somali National TV and Radio more than12 years ago.
Guled was once the producer of a popular government TV program, Gungaar, which means “In-Depth.” Guled at least once interviewed al-Shabab and ISIS suspects detained in government prisons by Somalia’s National Security Agency, to reveal information and the tactics used by the two terrorist groups in their attacks.
In November 2020, he was promoted and appointed as the director of the state-run Radio Mogadishu.
According to 2021 report by the Somali Journalists Syndicate and its partner, Somali Media Association, since February 2017, 12 journalists were killed in Somalia — three in 2017; four in 2018; two in 2019; two in 2020; and one in 2021.
According to U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists’ annual Global Impunity Index, which spotlights countries where members of the press are singled out for killing and the perpetrators go free, Somalia remains the world’s worst country for unsolved killings of journalists.