Sunday December 29, 2019
MOGADISHU (HOL) - Police Commissioner Gen. Abdi Hijaar was forced to make a public response Saturday after he was caught on tape telling Mogadishu Mayor Omar Filish not to disclose the casualty figures of the truck bombing in Ex-Control area.
A video clip which captures Gen. Hijaair telling the mayor not to mention the casualties went viral on social media minutes after the interview. Somalis online questioned the intention of the police chief with many accusing him of trying to conceal information about the incident.
The mayor went on to announce that 90 people had been injured but did not mention the number of the dead. He instead said “We will update you on the official figures later.”
In his response hours later following public outcry, General Hijaar said he was misunderstood. “It was impossible to give the exact figure of the casualties so we wanted to wait until we have visited the hospitals,” the police chief said.
The government has in several occasions in the past been economical with the truth regarding casualties in bomb attacks and security forces have even barred journalists from collecting information during such attacks.
By Saturday evening, the death toll was recorded at 79 with 125 injured.