Middle East

Gunmen wound two Somali journalists: union

People carry the body of an unidentified man killed in an explosion in Somalia's capital Mogadishu July 12, 2013. REUTERS/Feisal Omar

MOGADISHU: Gunmen have shot and injured two Somali reporters in the war-torn south, their colleagues said Thursday, in the latest attack on journalists in the country.

Mascud Abdulahi Adan, a reporter for Dalsan radio, was seriously wounded by a bullet in the back, while Mohamed Farah Sahal, working for Goobjoog radio, was hit in the shoulder, according the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ).

The attack took place Wednesday in the volatile southern port of Kismayo, where rival warlords have clashed in recent weeks for control of the city.

"We condemn the attack on the journalists in the strongest terms possible and call for an urgent investigation to bring the attacker to book," said Mohamed Ibrahim, NUSOJ secretary-general.

The two reporters -- both working for Mogadishu-based radio stations -- were hurt when fighters opened fire on their car, as they travelled to report on an explosion targeting Kenyan troops in an African Union force.

"Mascud was trying to report the attack (on AU troops)... and was on his way to the scene when they were shot at," Dalsan radio director Hassan Ali Gesey said.

It was not clear if the journalists were directly targeted.

Several rival factions are battling for control of Kismayo, a strategic and economic hub in the southern Jubaland region.

The union blamed a fighter from the Ras Kamboni militia of the self-declared "president" of Jubaland, Ahmed Madobe, a former Islamist chief now allied to Kenya.

Somalia is one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists, with at least 18 media workers killed last year.

Some were simply caught up in frontline fighting or bomb attacks, while others are seen as targeted killings by Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab insurgents, or others trying to settle scores within the multiple factions in power.





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