Veteran war correspondent Rageh Omaar shocks Twitter followers with claims of ‘BIG EXPLOSION’
He became a household name for his incisive battlefield dispatches and in-depth reports of global conflicts like the Iraq war.
But ITV international affairs editor Rageh Omaar was left red-faced after he was apparently unable to tell the difference between an explosion and thunder during the storm at the weekend.
Mr Omaar wrote alarmingly at 10.50pm on Saturday night: ‘Big explosion in #westberkshire area near #Newbury’.
Then just six minutes later the 50-year-old told his 86,000 Twitter followers: ‘Big white flash then loud bang 5 seconds later between #Newbury and #wantages’ His tweets were met with surprise and his followers were quick to explain the cause of bangs and flashes.
One person commented: ‘Have you been drinking?’ The Somali-born British journalist and writer took a further six minutes to add: ‘My wife tells me it was a huge clap of thunder – hope she is right #Newbury.’ Mr Omaar was a BBC world affairs correspondent, where he made his name reporting from Iraq.
He later clarified on Twitter: ‘I was so engrossed in game I was unaware of storms till I saw huge flash outside window & seconds later bang. Given places my job takes me naturally thought it was explosion!’
He moved to a new post at Al Jazeera English in September 2006, where he presented the nightly weekday documentary series Witness until January 2010.
From January 2013 he presented for ITV News and was later promoted as their International Affairs Editor.
Since September 2017 he has occasionally presented the ITV Lunchtime News including the ITV News London Lunchtime Bulletin and the ITV Evening News.
Mr Omaar is married to Georgiana Rose ‘Nina’ Montgomery-Cuninghame, the daughter of Sir John Montgomery-Cuninghame of Corsehill.
The couple live in Chiswick, west London and have three children together.