Nairobi, December 8, 2014–Two journalists were killed and three were wounded in a twin bombing in the south-central Somali town of Baidoa on December 5, which targeted a restaurant where journalists and officials frequently congregate.
The attack, which Al-Shabaab militants claimed responsibility for, killed Abdulkadir Ahmed Mayow, a 27-year-old reporter for Somali Channel TV and Star FM, and Mohamed Isaq Barre, a 25-year-old cameraman for Kalsan TV, local journalists told CPJ. Kalsan TV reporter Abdulkadir Hassan Jokar, Dalsan Radio reporter Mohamed Adan Socdaal, and SomSat TV reporter Abdulkadir Hassan Ibrahim were injured, the same sources said.
The journalists, who all worked for privately owned news outlets, were among at least 15 victims killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up before a car containing explosives was driven into the restaurant, according to local journalists and reports.
“This is the deadliest attack against the Somali press this year,” said CPJ East Africa Representative Tom Rhodes. “We urge authorities to do their utmost to target the masterminds and end a cycle of impunity for journalist murders in Somalia.”
In a radio message aired on the Al-Shabaab-run Radio Andalus, the militant group’s spokesman Abdiaziz Abu Mus’ab claimed responsibility for the attack and said it was targeting Ethiopians, spies, and officials, local journalists said. Somali journalists are often referred to as spies by the militia group, which has links to al-Qaeda and has fought for control of Somalia since 2006.
Abdulkadir Hassan Ibrahim, who suffered severe shrapnel wounds, was airlifted on December 7 to a Mogadishu hospital set up for the African Union peacekeeping forces, local journalists in Baidoa told CPJ. Abdulkadir Hassan Jokar and Mohamed Adan Socdaal are being treated at the Baidoa Hospital, the same sources said.