Renowned Somali-Canadian Human Rights activist, Almaas Elman Ali has been killed in Somalia's capital of Mogadishu. Local officers say that a stray bullet hit (and killed) the prominent rights activist.
She was killed within the premises of the Mogadishu airport, which is usually under very high armed security. Ali, who came from a leading family of peace campaigners, was traveling by car inside the heavily fortified airport compound when she was hit on Wednesday.
"She was riding in a car along a road inside the airport," AFP news agency quoted Mohamed Omar, a Somali security official, as saying.
"A stray bullet hit her, and she died within a few minutes."
Although it is clear who is responsible for Ali's killing, many critics believe her death was not a coincidence, claiming she was targeted for elimination.
Brigadier General Zakia Hussein, the deputy commissioner of the Somali Police Force told New York Times that investigations into the incident were continuing.
"There was not any gunfire in the airport or nearby areas before the incident occurred," Omar said.
The sprawling airport complex includes embassies and the headquarters of the African Union (AU) soldiers.
Ali, who had dual Somali and Canadian citizen, is believed to have been attending a meeting for the Elman Peace center, founded in 1990 by her father, Elman Ali Ahmed.
Ahmed's wife and daughters - including Almaas - fled to Canada as the civil war in the country worsened. He stayed in Somalia and in 1996 was killed in Mogadishu by unknown gunmen.
The rest of the family had returned to Somalia in recent years to help run the peace center working to end the violence.
Their work includes a program called Drop the Gun, Pick Up the Pen that encourages child soldiers conscripted by militia gunmen to return to peace.
Ali's sister, youth activist Ilwad Elmam, was among those shortlisted to win the Nobel Peace Prize this year by The Peace Research Institute Oslo.
Although Somalia is slowly rebuilding after years of devastating conflict, it suffers regular bombings and assaults claimed by rebel group al-Shabab.
They were driven out of Mogadishu by government forces backed by 20,000 AU peacekeepers in 2011.
But they still carry out attacks including suicide bombings against government and international targets.
Source: NEWS AGENCIES
Header Image Credit: Al Jazeera