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

Five Corners Intersection project to start in downtown Chilliwack this spring

A traffic signal, streetlights, water main, new curb/sidewalk, and 3,000 sq.m. of paving are coming

From the Chilliwack Progress Archives: Hockey referees chased away by parental abuse

Visit a hockey arena today and little has changed from when Bill Lillicrap wrote his column in 1975.

Zoning changes on deck at city hall are ready for review

‘Let’s Talk Zoning’ session for the public is Tuesday, February 11, at Evergreen Hall

Chilliwack population growth among the fastest in B.C.

City surpasses Victoria for 13th largest city in province

Human rights complaint against Chilliwack non-profit withdrawn

Human Rights Tribunal no longer has hearing scheduled for former PEARL Life Renewal Society employee

VIDEO: Chilliwack arson victim lights up rural property like a runway

Chris Thompson had enough after twice having barns torched in suspicious circumstances

Party bus door fault for years ahead of Langley woman’s death: Coroner

Tuesday report classifed Chelsea James’ death accidental, but was critical of bus inspection process

Sap thief taps Saanich park maple trees, faces hefty fine

One tree found with four taps in Mount Doug Park

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Uber threatens legal action to ‘defend its right’ to operate in Surrey

‘I have no concerns,’ Mayor Doug McCallum replies

Victoria resident says WestJet employee uttered racist comment, refused to let her on plane

Customer claims she was told ‘You guys can’t handle your alcohol’ by WestJet employee

Bystander who tried to help dog being attacked not liable for its death: B.C. tribunal

Owner of dog killed tried to get $5,000 in damages from man who tried to save it

INFOGRAPHIC: See how fast your B.C. city grew in 2019

The province’s fastest-growing municipalities were located on Vancouver Island

Landowner hearings begin for Trans Mountain expansion in Alberta

Detailed route talks start in Spruce Grove, in B.C. communities soon

Most Read