A prominent Somali journalist who was a critic of the Islamist militant group al-Shabab has been killed in a suicide bomb attack in the capital, Mogadishu, officials said.
Abdiaziz Mohamud Guled, also known as Abdiaziz Afrika, was targeted as he was leaving a restaurant in the city shortly after midday on Saturday.
The attack wounded several other people, including the director of Somali National Television and a driver.
Al-Shabab said it was behind the attack and had targeted the journalist, who worked for Radio Mogadishu.
Abdiaziz Afrika’s cousin, Abdullahi Nur, confirmed the development to Reuters news agency. He said:
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.
In a statement, Somalia’s Deputy Information Minister Abdirahman Yusuf Omar said the country had lost a “brave man”.
Abdiaziz was well known for his interviews with al-Shabab suspects detained by the Somali security forces and his programmes attracted large audiences inside and outside the country.
Al-Shabab, which means The Youth in Arabic, is an extreme Islamist group that has been battling UN-backed government troops for more than a decade.
The jihadists controlled the capital Mogadishu until 2011 when it was pushed out by African Union troops.
It, however, still holds territory in the countryside and launches frequent attacks against government and civilian targets in Mogadishu and elsewhere.
Government officials have blamed the group for some of Somalia’s deadliest terror attacks.