The National Union of Somali Journalists is mourning the loss of one of their own in the recent truck bombing at the busy KM5 junction in Mogadishu, while a handful of other journalists were injured.
Freelance cameraman Ali Nur Siad-Ahmed was killed in Saturday’s attack. He was 31 years old and is survived by a wife and two children.
Authorities have put the total number of dead at more than 276, a figure that is feared will rise yet further as casualties continue to be counted. Citizens from all walks of life were among the victims, including children, doctors, humanitarians, and academics.
Four other journalists are counted among the wounded, including Abdulkadir Mohamed Abdulle of Voice of America (VOA), Mohamed Omar Bakay of Goobjoog Radio, Abdullahi Osman of Mandeeq Radio and freelancers Abdiqani Ali Adan and Ahmed Abdi Hadi.
“The journalists, who were on duty to gather news when the attack happened, are among the innocent civilians who were caught up in the huge bombing, which is Somalia’s deadliest and powerful single attack,” the journalists’ union lamented in a statement dated October 16th.
Journalists’ Union Secretary-General Omar Faruk Osman said, “We are shocked by the unprecedented scale and brutality of this gruesome bombing… We express our deep grief and anguish over the loss of precious human lives, including the death of Ali Nur Siad-Ahmed.”
Ali Nur is the second journalist killed in Somalia this year after Abdullahi Osman Moallim, a journalist based in Beledweyne who was killed last month also in an explosion blamed on rebel group Al-Shabaab.
Two radio stations located near to Saturday’s blast were affected by the bombing. Goobjoog Radio and Ciyaaraha FM temporarily suspended broadcasting after both stations were damaged. The journalists’ union says that it too was affected: “The blast also damaged NUSOJ offices which is approximately 400 meters from the blast site, shattering windows, blowing doors off their hinges and destroying equipment.”