Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Somalia: At least eight journalists critically wounded in a bomb attack

Source: The International Freedom of Expression eXchange (IFEX) and National Union of Somali Journalists

At least eight journalists were critically wounded in a bomb attack on 29 June 2010. The attack took place at a police school in the Abdiasis district of northern Mogadishu. The journalists were wounded after a bomb exploded at the police training facility where an Al-Shabaab spokesman was holding a press conference. Al-Shabaab took over the base on 28 June.

Four of the wounded journalists, who were covering the press conference, have been identified as Muse Mohamoud Jisow, Ilyas Ahmed Abukar, Abdinasir Idle and Abdirisak Elmi Jama. One of the wounded journalists told the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) that the people who bombed the site knew that a press conference was taking place and that journalists were in attendance.

NUSOJ condemned the attack as a wasteful and cowardly act targeting journalists who are only armed with pens and cameras and notebooks. NUSOJ promised to distribute the complete list of names of the journalists injured in the blast and their respective media houses as soon as possible.

NUSOJ called on all parties in the conflict in Mogadishu to cease hostilities and to desist from taking their bloody conflict to journalists and unarmed civilians.

"Warring sides have made it their habit to bombard or attack places with a congregation of journalists, ostensibly to eliminate their enemy's claims of political gains. But we must remind them of their responsibility to protect journalists and civilians. Once they commit such otherwise avoidable atrocities, they then take their war to the people," said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary-General.