hree Somali journalists were killed and at least four injured in a suicide bomb attack in a Mogadishu café Thursday evening, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said in a statement obtained by PANA here Friday. It said, quoting local journalists, that the attack took place across the street from the National Theatre, where a bomb blast in April wounded at least 10 journalists. Two unidentified men entered ‘The Village’ café at around 5:30 p.m. and detonated bombs, killing a total of 14 people and injuring 20.
Ali Mohamud Rage, a spokesman for the militant insurgent group Al-Shabaab, said the bombing was carried out by supporters of the group.
The café was frequented by the press and civil servants, leading local journalists to speculate they were the targets of the attack.
‘If anyone wanted to kill journalists en masse, that was the place and the time,’ a journalist was quoted as saying on the condition of anonymity.
Those killed in the blasts were identified as Abdirahman Yasin Ali, director of Radio Hamar (‘Voice of Democracy’); Abdisatar Daher Sabriye, head of news for Radio Mogadishu; and Liban Ali Nur, head of news for Somali National TV.
Somalia National TV reporter Mohamed Hussein, along with three reporters for Radio Kulmiye-Abdullahi Suldan, Abdirisaq Mohamed, and Nour Mohamed Ali-were wounded.
‘We offer our deep condolences to the families and colleagues of Abdirahman Yasin Ali, Abdisatar Daher Sabriye, and Liban Ali Nur at this terrible time,’ said CPJ East Africa Consultant Tom Rhodes.
‘The senseless slaughter of journalists is continuing in Mogadishu, one of the world’s most dangerous places for the press. We call on the newSomali government to do its utmost to stop these attacks,’ Rhodes said.
Several people were killed in the attack on the National Theatre in April, including two of the nation’s top sports officials. Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack, the reports said.
According to CPJ, Somalia is the most dangerous country in Africa to practice journalism, and the threat of violence has driven more journalists into exile from Somalia than from any other country in the past year.
Meanwhile, the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) has condemned in strongest terms possible the killing and wounding of the journalists.
‘We strongly condemn this gratuitous and bloodthirsty attack on journalists. We are absolutely convinced that this was a targeted attack on journalists,’ Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General, said in a statement.
NUSOJ said it was outraged as the number of journalists and other media workers killed in the country since January this year has now reached 12.
It said ’2012 has sadly turned today the single deadliest year for journalists in the history of our country’.
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