New York, May 26, 2005—Veteran journalist Abdallah Nurdin Ahmad was wounded Tuesday night in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, when an unidentified gunman fired three times at close range, according to CPJ sources. Nurdin, a senior producer at the private radio station HornAfrik, underwent surgery at Medina Hospital and was recovering today.
Ali Iman Sharmake, HornAfrik’s co-manager, told CPJ it was not clear why Nurdin was targeted, but it could have been for his work as a journalist. Nurdin also owns a snack bar, and some sources said a dispute over that business could have sparked the shooting. The attack occurred at the snack bar.
Iman described Nurdin as the “godfather of Somali journalists,” a well-known playwright, and a songwriter. Nurdin hosts a weekend entertainment program for HornAfrik, and he produces and provides the voice for advertisements, according to Iman.
One local press freedom group, the Somali Press Freedom Violation Monitors, said Nurdin was thought to have been shot for his radio station work and that HornAfrik journalists and staff had been targeted before. The Somali Journalists Network (SOJON) told CPJ its investigations pointed to a business motive.