21 June 2014

Somalia: Prominent Somali Journalist Ahmed Abukar Killed in Mogadishu

Photo: Abdulaziz Billow Ali/RNW
Journalists attending the burial of their murdered colleagues.

A 27-year-old Somali journalist has been killed by a car explosion in Mogadishu. Yusuf Ahmed Abukar was driving through the capital's Hamarweyne district on his way to work when the bomb went off.

Police said they believed the bomb, which was attached to the journalist's car, was remotely detonated. Abukar, a prominent journalist who also used the name Yusuf Keynan, had worked with the private Mogadishu FM station Mustaqbal and also contributed to the Kenya-based UN humanitarian radio Ergo.

"It is a very shocking tragedy," the journalist Abdifatah Halane told the German news agency DPA.

Abukar had become known for criticizing both the Somali government and the Islamist militant group al-Shabab, which has recently launched attacks against the parliament in Mogadishu and abroad in Kenya. In 2013, Abukar won the UN-sponsored Somali Media Awards.

"We condemn the heinous murder of our colleague and call for prompt investigations into the case," National Union of Somali Journalists secretary-general Mohamed Ibrahim said.

Global media watchdog groups consider Somalia one of the most dangerous places in the world to work as a journalist. In 2012, 18 journalists died in the line of duty, followed by seven more in 2013; counting Abukar, two have died this year.

So far, no group has claimed responsibility for killing Abukar.

mkg/rc (AFP, dpa)

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