Two Somali journalists shot in Kismayo

Nairobi, July 18, 2013Two Somali journalists were wounded, one critically, when they came under fire on Wednesday while covering the aftermath of a landmine explosion in the southern port city of Kismayo, according to news reports and local journalists. The Committee to Protect Journalists calls for an immediate and thorough investigation.

Armed men shot at Mascud Abdulahi, correspondent for Dalsan Radio, and Mohamed Farah, correspondent for Goobjoog Radio, at 11:30 a.m., according to local journalists and news reports. The National Union of Somali Journalists blamed the government-affiliated militia Raskomboni for the shooting, according to Agence France-Presse. Armed militias, along with African Union troops, patrol Kismayo, where several clan-based rival militias are vying for control of the town, according to news reports.

Mascud was wounded in the back and the stomach, and Mohamed was hurt on the shoulder, the news reports said. Dalsan Radio Director Hassan Ali Gesey told CPJ that Mohamed had left the hospital after being treated for his wounds, but that Mascud remained in critical condition and was to be evacuated either to Mogadishu or Nairobi, in neighboring Kenya, for surgery.

“Reporting in Kismayo is extremely challenging with rival factions attacking the city and now even the press,” said CPJ East Africa Consultant Tom Rhodes. “The Somali government must investigate this attack, including the possibility that its military allies may have been responsible.”

Unidentified gunmen shot at Mustagbal Radio and Royal TV journalist Abdulkadir Abdirisak in May, according to news reports. Abdulkadir recovered from the attack, but the perpetrators were never apprehended.

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