Somali journalist Abdiaziz Mohamud Guled, also known as Abdiaziz Afrika, was killed in a suicide bombing attack while driving from a restaurant in Mogadishu, the capital, on November 20, 2021, according to according to multiple media reports.
The militant group Al-Shabaab took responsibility for the attack and said they had been “hunting” Abdiaziz, the director of the government-owned broadcaster Radio Mogadishu, for a long time, those reports said. Sharmarke Mohamed Warsame, a director of the government-owned Somali National TV, and driver Abdukadir Abdullahi Nur, were also injured in the attack, according to those reports.
A November 21 report by the Somali Journalists Syndicate, a local press rights group, said it remained unclear how the suicide bomber “identified the journalists’ vehicle and got knowledge of their movement.”
The syndicate’s secretary-general, Abdalle Ahmed Mumin, told CPJ in a phone interview that the attacker somehow knew Abdiaziz was in the car, despite the vehicle having tinted windows, which he said heightened the need for a thorough investigation into the circumstances of his killing.
“Everyone was running in different directions, and it was terrifying,” Somali National TV editor Abdullahi Amin Mohamud, who was nearby the vehicle when it was bombed and helped get Sharmarke and Abdukadir get to a hospital, told CPJ over the phone.
“It was a really sad situation, when you see your colleague and friend is dying in front of you,” he said.
Al-Shabaab specifically targets journalists working for government-owned media outlets, Abdullahi told CPJ, adding that “[Abdiaziz] Afrika was the biggest target” as he hosted a program featuring interviews with members of the militant group imprisoned by Somali government forces.
Abdullahi told CPJ that Abdiaziz received “so many” death threats from Al-Shabaab, including via phone, text message, and online.
A statement by Somalia’s Information Minister Osman Abokar Dubbe, which was posted on Facebook by Radio Mogadishu on November 20, said Abdiaziz was “targeted” because he “gave everything for the state-building process.”
Abdiaziz was buried November 21, according to Abdalle and a tweet by the Shabelle Media Network, a local outlet.
When CPJ called Somali presidential spokesperson Abdirashid Mohamed Hashi, he said he would call back in 10 minutes but did not. CPJ’s calls in November 2021 to Somalia police spokesperson Zakia Hussein and Abdirahman Yusuf Omar, Somalia’s deputy information minister, went unanswered.