Targeted suicide bombing kills leading Somali journalist, badly injures another
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is appalled by the targeted suicide bomb attack that killed a senior journalist and badly injured another in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, on 20 November. The attack has been claimed by Al-Shabaab.
Radio Mogadishu director Abdiaziz Mohamud Guled and Sharmarke Mohamed Warsame, the director of Somali National Television (SNTV), were travelling together in a car when a person wearing an explosive vest suddenly grabbed hold of its windscreen and detonated the device, killing Guled instantly and badly injuring Warsame, who is still in a critical condition, according to the information obtained by RSF and its partner organisation, the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ).
The attack was immediately claimed by Al-Shabaab, a rebel group that has been using terrorist methods in Somalia for the past 15 years and has links to Al-Qaeda.
“We strongly condemn this targeted murder, this cowardly attack, and the climate of violence that exposes Somali journalists to the most terrible reprisals,” said Arnaud Froger, the head of RSF’s Africa desk. “We urge Somalia’s political authorities to establish a national mechanism dedicated to the safety of journalists, and its judicial authorities to speed up their investigations into the murders of more than 50 journalists in recent years.”
Throughout his career at a journalist, the 42-year-old Guled had produced many programmes dedicated to covering acts of violence and atrocities by Al-Shabaab and had distinguished himself by interviewing former Al-Shabaab hostages.
He is the second journalist to be killed by Al-Shabaab this year. The first was Jamal Farah Adan, a radio reporter who was gunned down on a street in Galkayo, in central Somalia, on 1 March.
More than 50 journalists have been murdered or killed in Somalia since 2010, in most cases in attacks claimed by Al-Shabaab, making this terrorist group the No. 1 killer of journalists in Africa.
Somalia is ranked 161st out of 180 countries in RSF's 2021 World Press Freedom Index.