Citizen TV's Jamila Mohammed Survived Hotel Bombing During Trip

  • Citizen TV Managing Editor Jamila Mohammed in studio in 2019.
    Citizen TV Managing Editor Jamila Mohammed in the studio in 2019.
  • Celebrated Citizen TV anchor Jamila Mohammed has recounted her experience surviving a bombing incident in Mogadishu.

    In an interview on Thursday, April 15, the Swahili news anchor described the experience, which occurred in 2012, as the most terrifying episode of her life.

    She had accompanied the then Foreign Minister Sam Ongeri for a meeting with Somalia's President at the time, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.

    It was while covering the press conference between Ongeri and Mohamud that terrorists attempted to carry out an assassination against the Somalian President. 

    A suicide bomber attacked the hotel where the press conference was being held, with the explosion followed by a shootout between the assailants and Amison soldiers. 

    Former Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud
    Former Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud who survived an assassination attempt.

    Jamila revealed that throughout her career spanning about 20 years, she had covered many events including riots and clashes but the attack was her worst experience yet.

    "I have an array of memorable experiences and exposures at NMG, including covering elections, referendums, riots and demonstrations (I have a few tear gas experiences), terrorist attacks, and tribal clashes in Africa.

    "At one time, I was at a hotel in Mogadishu when a bomb explosion occurred at the hotel. It was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life!" the soft spoke journalist stated.

    At the time, as quoted by Arab News and Thomson Reuters Foundation, Jamila had narrated that she saw a man shooting as he stormed the hotel.

    "(After the blast, I saw) pieces of meat flying all over the place. Then I saw a second guy shooting as he stormed toward the hotel," she explained.

    She escaped the attacked unscathed and so did the former Minister and the then Somalian President.

    Shortly after the incident, Somali militia group al Shabaab claimed responsibility of the attack that left eight people dead and many others injured.

    The attack occurred just two days after Mohamud was elected president in the country's first presidential vote.

    During her interview, Jamila also revealed that she had joined the media industry in 2000 without any formal training and worked as a sales representative at IQRA FM.

    At the time, she held a Diploma in IT but worked diligently and rose through the media ranks while learning from her colleagues.

    "My desire and passion opened the door for me to join the radio newsroom as a newsreader and a reporter. After a short stint there, I joined the Nation Media Group, a place I called home for 16 years.

    "NMG was where I leveraged the opportunity to advance my career and went back to school to attain my Bachelors and Masters degrees," she stated.

    She currently serves as Citizen TV's Managing Editor.

    Citizen TV's News Gang panellist at Royal Media Services (RMS) studio on Thursday, March 4, 2021
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