A Somali television journalist was killed Monday evening in a suicide bombing at a restaurant in Mogadishu, police said.
Abdifatah Moalim Nur Qeys, who worked for Somali Cable Television, was fatally injured in the explosion at Blue Sky restaurant near the national museum.
“At around 21:00 a Khawarij suicide bomber detonated explosives on people who were having tea outside the Blue Sky restaurant in Bondhere district,” police in Mogadishu said in a brief statement.
Khawarij, or “deviants,” is a term the government uses to refer to al-Shabab.
Four other people were injured in the explosion, according to police.
“Security forces provided assistance to those impacted by the attack,” police said. “There is an ongoing investigation, and any updates will be shared with the public.”
The station Qeys worked for confirmed his death in a Facebook post. It said Qeys was the director of the station’s branch in Mogadishu.
“He was pronounced dead after we brought him to Recep Tayyip Erdogan hospital,” said Abdishakur Mohamed Mohamud, who was among the journalists who took Qeys to the hospital.
“He had shrapnel on the upper part of his body,” he told VOA Somali.
In a Telegram message, the al-Shabab militant group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. In the message, al-Shabab said a suicide bomber was behind the blast.
The local media watchdog, Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) condemned the violence.
“SJS strongly condemns this atrocious attack targeting our colleague Abdifatah Qeys. Our hearts go out to other community members whose loved ones were affected by this heinous attack,” SJS said in a statement.
The attack comes as Somalia President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud welcomed home new troops who had been training in Eritrea.
Speaking at Mogadishu airport, Mohamud told the soldiers to take one-month leave before returning to join other soldiers engaged in the military operations against al-Shabab.