Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed by a car bomb on Monday

Archbishop Charles Scicluna has condemned the killing of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in Malta on Monday, calling it an “obscene murder”.

Caruana Galizia, who led the Panama Papers investigation into corruption in Malta, died when her car was destroyed by a powerful explosion, sending debris into a nearby field.

Her blog often criticised members of the political establishment, and attracted more readers than the country’s newspapers combined. Recently, her revelations linked Maltese prime minister Joseph Muscat with offshore companies connected to the sale of Maltese passports.

“The loss of Daphne Caruana Galizia fills us with sadness and determination to continue defending democracy until the very end,” Archbishop Scicluna, the country’s highest ranking prelate, said.

“This is not a time to wage war between us or to blame one another. As a people we must wake up, defend the dignity of each one of us, and stop the verbal attacks on each other. We must defend the central value of democracy by moving from words to actions.”

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the journalist’s murder.

Prime minister Joseph Muscat said FBI officers were travelling to the island to help with the investigation.

““Everyone knows Ms Caruana Galizia was a harsh critic of mine,” he said, “both politically and personally, but nobody can justify this barbaric act in any way.”