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Somali gunmen attempt to kill a Universal TV journalist

Nairobi, October 22, 2013--Somali authorities must work quickly to identify the motive in today's murder attempt on a broadcast reporter and bring the perpetrators to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The journalist, Mohamed Mohamud, has been hospitalized with serious injuries.

Unidentified gunmen in a car shot repeatedly at Mohamed's car as he was driving to work at about 7 a.m. in the Wadajir district of the capital, Mogadishu, according to local journalists. He sustained six bullet wounds in his neck, chest, and shoulder, news reports said. He has undergone surgery at a local hospital, but is still unconscious, local journalists said.

Mohamed, 26, who is also known as "Tima'ade," is a reporter at the private U.K.-based Universal TV. It is not clear if he had covered any sensitive stories before the attack.

Universal TV, which was established in 2005, covers news for the Somali diaspora with correspondents based in countries including Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Kenya. In 2012, CPJ documented several attacks on Universal TV reporters. On October 23, 2012, unidentified gunmen shot dead Ahmed Farah Ilyas, a reporter for the broadcaster, and on July 7, 2012, gunmen attempted to kill Abdulkadir Omar Abdulle, a reporter and anchor for Universal TV. Abdulkadir survived the shooting.

"The pace of attacks on journalists in Mogadishu may have slowed slightly, but the capital is still an unacceptably dangerous place for journalists to work," said CPJ East Africa Consultant Tom Rhodes.

No one has taken responsibility for the attack on Mohamed. The insurgent militia group Al-Shabaab is routinely linked to attacks on journalists, although some cases are linked to personal grudges from officials volleying for power, according to news reports.

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud issued a statement condemning the attack and calling for an immediate investigation. "There must be no impunity, and the government will do everything in its power to bring to justice all those involved in the killing of our journalists or any violence committed against them."

Somalia's Central Investigation Department arrested three suspects today in relation to the attack, according to local journalists.

CPJ's Rhodes welcomed the government's pledge, saying, "The only way of curbing this brutal trend is for the perpetrators to be held accountable."

  • For more data and analysis, visit CPJ's Somalia page.

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