By IFJ Team
Brussels- On Saturday 14 October a bomb attack killed at least 276 civilians including one journalist in Mogadishu, capital of Somalia.
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) in condemning the attacks and sends its deepest sympathy to the family of the killed journalist.
A truck loaded with explosives exploded near a hotel in Mogadishu on 14 October. The explosion took place in one of the capital’s busiest intersection demolishing buildings around it. At least 500 people are believed to have been killed or seriously injured, including journalists and the numbers are expected to rise.
Freelance video journalist Ali Nur Siad-Ahmed, 31, was killed in the attack. Journalists Abdulkadir Mohamed Abdulle of Voice of America (VOA), Mohamed Omar Bakay of Goobjoog Radio and Abdullahi Osman of Mandeeq Radio as well as freelance journalists Abdiqani Ali Adan and Ahmed Abdi Hadi were wounded.
According to NUSOJ, the journalists were on duty when the attack happened.
“We are shocked by the unprecedented scale and brutality of this gruesome bombing. Such abominable crime became the reason for journalists and innocent civilians to be killed and wounded. We express our deep grief and anguish over the loss of precious human lives, including the death of Ali Nur Siad-Ahmed” said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General. “Our deepest sympathy goes out to wounded journalists and we wish them a speedy recovery”.
The explosion forced Goobjoog Radio and Ciyaaraha FM – based in the blast site- to temporarily suspend broadcasting after both stations were damaged. The blast also damaged NUSOJ offices which is located approximately 400 meters away from the blast site, shattering windows, blowing doors and destroying equipment.
The bombing is believed to be Somalia’s deadliest and most powerful single attack. There has been no claim for responsibility so far.
The IFJ records 62 killings of journalists in the country in the past 10 years. Somalia is one of the Federation’s target country in this years’ campaign against impunity to be launched on 2 November.
IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said: “We send our deepest condolences to the family of Ali Nur Siad-Ahmed and wish a swift recovery to the five journalists injured. Alongside our affiliate NUSOJ, we ask the Somali government to respond meaningfully to these attacks and bring their perpetrators to justice”.