Abdullahi Osman Moalim died on September 13 from injuries sustained during a September 10 suicide bomb attack in a café in Beldeweyne, a city in southcentral Somalia, his colleagues at Jubbaland TV and Somalia’s minister of information, Abdirahman Omar Osman, told CPJ.
Abdullahi, who worked for the privately owned Radio Codka Hiiraan and the state-owned Jubbaland TV, suffered head injuries after being struck by shrapnel in the attack, Hassan Aweis, the director of the Mogadishu section of Jubbaland TV, told CPJ. He was taken to Mogadishu for treatment where he died on the morning of September 13 at the Erdoğan Hospital.
A spokesperson for the militant group Al Shabaab released a statement claiming responsibility for the attack, which he said targeted Hiiraan administration employees, according to Reuters.
The café that came under attack, which is adjacent to the offices of Hiiraan regional governor Omar Adan Ibrahim, is a popular meeting place among journalists and politicians, Mohamed Maolimuu, a Somali journalist, told CPJ. He added that Abdullahi and his colleagues had been waiting for a press conference in the governor’s office at the time of the attack.
The information minister told CPJ he did not believe that journalists were the intended target of the attack. However, according to CPJ research, Al-Shabaab has long considered journalists, as servants of the Somali government and targeted venues where they congregate.
Media reports indicate that at least three people were killed and 10 injured in the attack. Among those injured were two other journalists who also worked for Radio Codka Hiiraan, Abdi Shakur Mohamed Hassan and Abdulkadir Omar Ibrahim.
Hassan told CPJ that Abdullahi is survived by a wife and a one-year-old daughter.