Hodan Naleyeh in a photo posted to Instagram on April 30, 2019, after moving back to Somalia in time for Ramadan. Naleyeh was killed, alongside her husband Farid Jama Suleiman and 24 others. Somalia’s al-Shabab Islamic rebels have claimed responsibility for the attack. (Hodan Naleyeh/Instagram)

Somali-Canadian journalist Hodan Naleyeh dies in Somalia extremist attack

Nalayeh was born in Somalia in 1976, but spent most of her life in Edmonton and then in Toronto

At least 26 people have been killed in an extremist attack in Somalia including a prominent Somali-Canadian journalist and her husband.

Mogadishu-based independent radio station Radio Dalsan confirmed to The Associated Press that Hodan Nalayeh and Farid Jama Suleiman died in the attack Friday.

A Somali official says the attack started with a suicide car bomb blast and then gunmen stormed a hotel in the port city of Kismayo. The official says those killed include one Canadian, one Briton two Americans three Kenyans and three Tanzanians. Fifty-six people, including two Chinese, were also injured in the attack.

Global Affairs Canada has not confirmed the deaths but says it is aware of a bombing in Somalia and is working to get more information.

Ahmed Hussen, Canada’s minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship, expressed his grief on Twitter.

He says through her work as a journalist, Hodan highlighted the (Somali) community’s positive stories and contributions in Canada.

“She became a voice for many,” said Hussen, who is also the former national president of the Canadian Somali Congress.

“We mourn her loss deeply, and all others killed in the #KismayoAttack.”

READ MORE: Northern Ireland journalist is killed; police hunt suspects

Nalayeh was born in Somalia in 1976, but spent most of her life in Canada, first in Edmonton and then in Toronto.

The Somali Journalists Syndicate says Naleyeh was the producer, presenter and founder of Integration TV.

It says she had recently returned to Somalia from Canada, where she attended school and worked as a journalist on TV programs in Toronto.

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says she is sad and shocked to hear about her death.

“I am so sad and shocked to learn of the tragic death of @HodanTV and her husband Farid in a terrorist attack, along with other victims of this hate-fuelled violence,” Horwath said on Twitter.

“Hodan’s endless positivity and her love for people was inspiring.”

Nalayeh’s Integration TV program launched in 2014. During its run she interviewed guests including former Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne.

She was also the founder of the Somali Refugees Awareness Project, a non-profit organization that advocates for Somali refugees across the world.

Nalayeh was the mother of two boys.

On one of her social media accounts she described herself as: “Mom. Optimist. Journalist. TV Host.”

“Passionate about sharing #Somali stories.”

Somalia’s al-Shabab Islamic rebels have claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rockets lose big in 7-0 loss to Portland

Portland’s goaltender Dante Gianuzzi was named the game’s first star with a 17-save shutout

Kelowna secondary basketballer nominated for Canada-wide All Canadian Games

KSS’s Rylee Semeniuk is one of 152 players nominated

‘It’s still early’: Flu rates down so far this year at Interior Health

At Kelowna General Hosptial, there have been about 50 confirmed cases

Warriors introduce new leadership core, look for bounce back after Friday loss

West Kelowna’s three-game winning streak ended Friday with a 6-3 loss

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in lingerie store

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Disrespectful that Horgan won’t meet during northern B.C. tour: hereditary chief

Na’moks said he was frustrated Horgan didn’t meet with the chiefs

Update: Highway reopens after crash west of Revelstoke

Drive BC also reported a vehicle incident 10 km east of Golden.

Canucks extend home win streak to 8 with 4-1 triumph over Sharks

Victory lifts Vancouver into top spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

BC Green Party leader visits northern B.C. pipeline protest site

Adam Olsen calls for better relationship between Canada, British Columbia and First Nations

Priest Camp near Summerland was created in 1845

Agreement formed between Grand Chief Nicola (1793-1859) and Father Giovanni Nobili (1812-1856)

Most Read