Somali Cable Television’s director Nur killed in suicide blast
A prominent Somali TV journalist has been buried after he was killed in a suicide bombing at a restaurant in the capital, Mogadishu, on Monday.
Abdifatah Moalim Nur, popularly known as Qeys, was described by colleagues as “exceptional” and “inspiring”.
He becomes the first journalist to be killed in Somalia this year, according to a local media watchdog.
The al-Qaeda-linked militant group, al-Shabab, said it carried out the suicide attack at Blue Sky restaurant.
Police said four other people were injured outside the restaurant which is near the presidential palace.
Information Minister Daud Aweis condemned the “cowardly” attack.
The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) said it was “deeply shaken” by the “senseless and brutal” killing of Nur, the director of the privately owned Somali Cable Television.
“His remarkable career and unwavering dedication have left an indelible mark on Somali journalism, inspiring countless young journalists to strive for excellence,” the union said.
Journalists from various Somali media outlets came together to attend his funeral. They reflected on the impact Nur had on the media community.
“It is black day for all Somali Cable staff, he was a good person. He was not only our director but he was our father. I was with him yesterday discussing stories we’d work on today.” said Bushra Bashir a Somali Cable TV reporter.
Nur, a staunch advocate of press freedom, had previously faced threats, the Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS), said.
In October last year, journalist Mohamed Isse Hassan was among more than 100 people killed in twin car bombings in Mogadishu.
A month earlier, a reporter with state-owned Somali National Television, Ahmed Mohamed Shukur, was by killed by a landmine near the capital.
Al-Shabab has been carrying out deadly attacks in Somalia in response to a large-scale military offensive that seeks to drive out the jihadists.
Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud took office in May last year promising an “all-out war” against the group.