Somalia: Prominent Somali Journalist assassinated in Mogadishu

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) mourns the loss of the Prominent freelance journalist, who was killed in what seemed a targeted assassination in Mogadishu on Sunday afternoon, around 4:00pm local time.

Witnesses  said that a man uniformed in  military camouflage shot at the journalists’ car passing by between Hamarjajab road junction and Hotel Madina around 4:00pm local time. Apparently, that bullet hit the head of journalist  Abdisalan Sheik Hassan better known as “Xiis”, a freelance journalist who worked both HornCable Television and Hamar Radio, Voice of Democracy (VoD). Witnesses also that that the journalists have left the Television station, minutes before the attack, to have tea at a cafeteria in Hamarweyne, a nearby neighborhood

“There were no signs of warning. Nobody stopped us.” Zakariye Abdulkadir Abdullahi, head of human resource office of the HornCable Television said “I only heard one shot and our car turned off the road and hit the wall.”

“Suddenly, I was shocked when I saw my colleague bleeding in the head.” Mr. Zakariye said

Mr. Zakariye said that he immediately sought help in shock and returned to the Television station nearby, where along with some other colleagues rushed the wounded journalist to the Daarul Shifa Hospital in Hodan neighborhood and  after 15 minutes transferred to Madina Hospital, where Late Abdisalam died upon arrival.

On late Sunday afternoon, journalists along with NUSOJ officials carried the body of slain colleague to his home, where he will be taken on Monday for funeral burial.

Late Abdisalan Sheik Hassan (Xiis), 38yrs, will be the third journalist killed in Mogadishu this year alone. He left behind a wife and four children, three baby daughters and a son, among them newly baby daughter born.

It was not immediately clear the reason behind the killing of the journalist,  but many journalists believe that his killing is politically motivated.

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) called the attack barbaric and targeted attack meant to intimidate and threaten the freedom of the press and called urgent investigation into the death of the journalist. NUSOJ on behalf of the Somali journalists sent sincere condolences to the families, colleagues and friends who will miss Late Abdisalam,

“We condemn the shooting incident that led to the death of the journalist in the strongest terms possible and call for the Transitional Federal Government to investigate the matter urgently.” Abdurashid Abdulle Abikar, NUSOJ treasurer who briefed the journalist at  the hospital said  “I send my sincere condolences to the families
and friends of our slain colleague.”

Colleagues who knew late Abdisalam said that he was quit, social, frank and laughing and wished him rest in paradise.

“He was the best journalist I worked with during the the two years he worked in the Radio.”  Abdirahman Yasin, Director of Radio Hamar, Voice of Democracy,  said, “He was frank, social and we really miss him, May Allah give him paradise.”

On August 4, 2011, Farah Hassan Sahal, Logistics Manager and driver of SIMBA radio was killed by sniper believed to have fired by the African Union mission in Somalia, at the radio compound in Mogadishu’s Bakara
market, while trying along with other media executives, to move the radio equipment into the safer zones of Mogadishu, according to the Director of the SIMBA Radio, Abdullahi Ali Farah.

On Sept. 2, 2011, a Malaysian journalist, Noramfaizul Mohd Nor, 41, a cameraman for the Malaysian National News Agency was shot to death and Aji Saregar Mazlan, A TV3 journalist was wounded after shooting
incident took place in KM4 area.  The African Union Mission in Somalia acknowledged the responsibility of the killing.

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