Ali Nur Siad

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Somali freelance cameraman Ali Nur Siad died on October 14, 2017, after a suicide attacker detonated a truck bomb at a busy intersection in the capital, Mogadishu, the journalist’s brother, Bakar Hassan Abdi, told CPJ.

Over 500 people died in the attack, which was the deadliest in Somalia’s history, according to Reuters, citing a committee set up by the government to establish a death toll for the attack. 

At the time of the attack, 31-year-old Ali Nur was on assignment with Voice of America (VOA) reporter Adulkadir Mohamed Abdulle, the broadcaster said in a statement on October 17, 2017.

Earlier on the day of the attack, the two journalists had interviewed Somali Justice Minister Hassan Hussein Haji at the Central Prison in Mogadishu, VOA told CPJ. The pair then went to an office at the Somali Red Crescent Society building near the site of the attack to process the interview footage.

Ali Nur was inside the Red Crescent building at the time of the explosion, according to journalists who spoke to CPJ and a statement from the Broadcasting Board of Governors, a United States federal agency that oversees the VOA.

The cameraman died on site from blast debris, Bakar Hassan told CPJ.

Ali Nur was buried on Sunday, October 15, 2017, according to Bakar Hassan.

Abdulkadir, the reporter, had gone to retrieve a laptop charger from his car at the time of the explosion, and sustained serious injuries including a broken hand, burns, and shrapnel wounds, according to VOA.

Ali Nur had worked as a freelance cameraman since 2004, according the Broadcasting Board of Governors statement.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the car bombing. Most media reports speculated that it was the work of Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab, and Somali authorities said they had evidence that the group was behind the attack, according to a report by VOA.

In January 2018, Somali officials charged five men in connection to the attack, including Hassan Aden Isak, whom authorities said drove a vehicle carrying explosives, and the owner of the vehicle, Ibrahim Hassan Absuge, who was tried in absentia, according to a report by VOA.

In February 2018, Hassan Aden Isak was sentenced to death and was executed by firing squad on the one-year anniversary of the attack, according to media reports. Ibrahim was sentenced, in absentia, to life in prison, according to VOA.

A third man, Abdiwali Ahmed Diriye, accused of helping the bombing vehicles clear security check points, was sentenced to three years in prison. Two other suspects were acquitted.