Category: Press Releases, Africa, Somalia
By: Scott Griffen

Journalist Killed in Somalia Blast

Somali Radio Reporter 2nd Media Worker Killed in Somalia in 2011

Somalia government soldiers secure the scene of a suicide attack in Somalia's capital Mogadishu, October 4, 2011. A truck bomb killed at least 65 people at government buildings in the heart of Somalia's capital on Tuesday, an ambulance worker said, and al Shabaab insurgents claimed responsibility for the attack. Witnesses said there was a loud blast at a compound housing four government ministries in the K4 (Kilometre 4) area of the capital Mogadishu, where students had gathered on Tuesday to take exams. REUTERS/Omar Faruk

By: Scott Griffen

VIENNA, 10 Oct. 2011 - The International Press Institute is saddened at the death of a Somali radio journalist who was killed in a suicide bombing in Mogadishu on 4 October.  The militant group Al Shabab has since claimed responsibility for the bombing, which has so far resulted in 100 fatalities. 

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) reported that Abiaziz Ahmed Aden, a 24-year old newscaster and reporter for the regional station Radio Markabley, died in the attack; initially reported as missing, he was later identified by family members. Aden had joined the station in February 2011 and had recently been sent to the Somali capital to report on military operations against Al Shabab. 

The blast occurred when a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden truck at a security checkpoint outside a compound housing several government ministries, among them the Ministry of Education. Many of the dead were students and parents awaiting the results of an examination for a scholarship to study in Turkey, which had recently prioritised foreign aid to Somalia at the UN General Assembly.  

Two other journalists were wounded in the attack, according to NUSOJ. Abdulkadir Mohyadin, a cameraman for Somali National Television and Ali Hassan, a reporter for Universal Television, were hit by shrapnel from the blast.  Both journalists had been sent to cover the unveiling of the examination results.  

IPI joins NUSOJ in condemning the bombing.  IPI Director Alison Bethel McKenzie said: “We are deeply saddened by the tremendous loss of life in last week’s barbaric attack and our condolences go out to the families of all the dead, including Mr. Aden.  This is a stark reminder that all journalists could be the target of violence, whether they are covering education or criminal activity. We call upon the international community to work with Somalia’s Transitional National Government in pursuing those behind this atrocity.” 

In one of the largest public rallies in Somalia in years, thousands of Mogadishu residents gathered in a stadium yesterday to decry the attack and to denounce the al-Qaeda-linked group, whose attacks have grown increasingly brazen and served to further destabilize the already war-torn and famine-ridden nation.   According IPI’s Death Watch, Aden is the second journalist to have been killed in Somalia this year. 

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