Death toll rises to 26 in Somalia’s Kismayo hotel attack

Mogadishu, 13 July 2019: The death toll from the terror attack that targeted a hotel in the southern Somali city of Kismayo has risen to 26, among them prominent journalists Hodan Nalayeh, the producer, presenter and founder of Integration TV and Mohamed Omar Sahal (aka Ga’ma Dhere), SBC TV correspondent in Kismayo.

The attack happened at around 5.30 p.m. yesterday when a suicide car bomber rammed his vehicle into Madina Hotel – formerly  known as Cascasey Hotel – in Kismayo where the journalists and many others, including foreign nationals, were staying.

The Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) condemned the barbaric attack and mourned the two journalists, saying it was a black day for the Somali media fraternity.

“On behalf of the Somali Journalists Syndicate and the Somali media fraternity, we send our sincere condolences to the families, colleagues and friends who lost the two journalists Hodan Nalayeh and Mohamed Omar Sahal,” SJS Secretary-General Abdalle Ahmed Mumin said.

“Hodan’s programmes on Integration TV focused on social matters while Sahal has been a devoted advocate for the voiceless communities,” he added.

“We pray for the families of the two journalists as we also stand with them during this sad moment,” Mr Mumin further added.

Hodan Nalayeh has recently returned from Canada to her homeland to help showcase Somalia’s peaceful transformation. Unfortunately, she paid for it with her life.

Hodan, 43 and Sahal, 35, become the first journalists to be killed in the country this year. Hodan has left behind two sons while Sahal is survived by a wife and four children.