In Shock and Tears, Mogadishu Mourns Loss of Slain Mayor Featured

FILE - Mayor Abdirahman Omar Osman is pictured in Mogadishu, Somalia. The mayor died Aug. 1 of injuries suffered in a suicide bombing July 24.

Mogadishu residents are mourning the loss of their mayor, who died Thursday of injuries suffered in a suicide bombing July 24 that killed at least six other people.

Abdirahman Omar Osman, 53, simply known as "Injineer Yariisow," which translates from Somali as "the small engineer," was the highest-level Somali government official killed in the city's frequent deadly terrorist attacks in recent years.

With tears running down his face, Aden Osman stood motionless in front of Mogadishu's city headquarters, the place where the late mayor was targeted as he was meeting with senior officials of his administration on security.

"Indeed, the terrorists that killed our mayor made us feel a deep pain and sadness inside, but we cannot let them tear us down and make us demoralize," said Aden Osman, 21.

"The people of this city have lost a great man and a leader. We have been mourning for three days,” and flags will remain at half staff, Ibrahim Omar Mahadalle, deputy regional administrator of Mogadishu, told VOA Somali. "May Allah rest his soul in peace. He led this city by example." 


Abdirahman Omar Osman fled from Somalia's civil war in 1990s. He lived in Britain for 17 years, where he became a naturalized British citizen.

Somalis in London who also mourned his death remembered him as a statesman. 
Mahadalle, who first met Osman in London 15 years ago, described him as "a patriot, optimistic and brave man." 

"Despite living in London, he was always busy with Somalia affairs and how his home country would return to its own legs," said Mahadalle 

"Today the people of Mogadishu lose their mayor, but I lost my father. May Allah grant him the highest rank of paradise," Mohamed Omar, the late mayor's son and a student at London's Queen Mary University, tweeted as tribute to his father. 


Politicians he worked with, close friends and colleagues described Osman as a hard worker.

Among the dozens of government jobs he held was adviser to former Prime Minister Abdiwali Ali Gas, who also was the Puntland regional leader. 
"When I was the prime minister between 2011 and 2012, Osman was my adviser. I remember him as a humble man with more work and less talk," Gas said.