Somalia: Journalists among dead and wounded from Mogadishu truck bomb

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the indiscriminate violence of Saturday’s truck bomb in Mogadishu, which left at least 260 dead and 300 wounded. A reporter was among those killed. Other journalists were wounded. RSF offers its condolences to their families and colleagues.

The massive explosion at a busy Mogadishu intersection on 14 October, Somalia’s deadliest ever terrorist attack, flattened several buildings as well as killing hundreds, including freelance video-reporter Ali Nur Siad-Ahmed.

Four journalists were among the wounded: Abdukadir Mohamed Abdulle of Voice of America, Mohamed Omar Bakay of Goobjoog Radio and freelancers Abdiqani Ali Adan and Ahmed Abdi Hadi. Abdulle was taken to an intensive care at Ummah Hospital in southern Mogadishu. Another journalist, Abdullahi Osman Farah, working for Mandeeq Education Radio (part of the Goobjoog group), who was present at the location of the attack has still not been found.

Siad-Ahmed is the second Somali journalist to be killed in a terrorist attack this year. The first was Abdullahi Osman Moallim, who worked for Radio Codka Hiiraan and state-owned Jubbaland TV. He died on 13 September from injuries sustained three days earlier in a bomb explosion at the hotel where he was waiting to attend a press conference.

No one has so far claimed Saturday’s bombing but it bears all the hallmarks of Al-Shabaab, a militant Islamist group that has been on RSF’s list of Press Freedom Predators since 2008. Al-Shabaab has banned radio and TV in the regions it controls and constantly persecutes journalists.

Ranked 167th out of 180 countries in RSF’s World Press Freedom Index, Somalia is the deadliest country in Africa for media personnel. RSF estimates that 43 journalists have been killed in Somalia since 2010.

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Updated on 20.10.2017