A well-known Somali journalist who criticized the Islamic militant group Al-Shabaab was killed in a suicide bomb attack in the capital Mogadishu.
Abdiaziz Mohamud Guled, also known as Abdiaziz Afrika, became the target when he left a restaurant in the city shortly after noon.
Two other people nearby were injured in the explosion and were taken to the hospital.
The Al-Shabaab said this was behind the attack and targeted reporters working for Radio Mogadishu.
A report published on the official website of Radio Mogadishu quoted a police source as saying that the bomber detonated a device in front of a car near a restaurant accompanied by the director of Guraid, Somali National Television and a driver.
The report includes a statement by Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Robl, who expressed his condolences to Guraid’s family.
He said: “Abu Diaz is a hard-working journalist and national hero. He worked for his country, his people and his religion with courage and perseverance.”
Guled is known for interviewing detained Al-Shabaab suspects, and his broadcasts often attract large audiences.
Al-Shabab, which means youth in Arabic, is an extreme Islamic organization that has been fighting against government forces supported by the United Nations for more than a decade.
The jihadists controlled the capital Mogadishu until it was expelled by the African Union army in 2011, but it still had territory in the countryside and frequently launched attacks on government and civilian targets in Mogadishu and elsewhere.
It promotes a strict Wahhabi version of Islam inspired by Saudi Arabia, and most Somalis are Sufis. It has implemented strict Islamic laws in the areas under its control, including stoning the hands of women accused of adultery and amputation of thieves.
Government officials blamed the organization for some of the deadliest terrorist attacks in Somalia. Last year, analysts from the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project estimated that since 2010, Al-Shabaab was responsible for the deaths of more than 4,000 people.