MOGADISHU, Somalia 29 October, 2022 – Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS), the Somali Media Association (SOMA) and the Somali Mechanism for the Safety of Journalists (SMSJ) strongly condemn the killing of Universal Somali TV journalist, Mohamed Isse Koonaa and the injuries of Reuters photojournalist, Feisal Omar and M24 TV journalist and Voice of America freelancer, Abdukadir Mohamed Abdulle in a terrorist attack in Mogadishu today.
The three journalists are among confirmed casualties of double suicide car bombings that targeted a government building housing ministry of higher education and other offices located at Mogadishu’s KM5 junction on Saturday. According to colleagues and police, the three journalists were rushing to cover the scene of the first bombing when they were caught by a second suicide bombing.
“Today, we are shocked and outraged by this heinous attack that killed our colleague, Mohamed Isse Koonaa, among other civilians and the injury of two other colleagues: Feisal Omar of Reuters and Abdukadir Mohamed Abdulle of M24 TV and VOA Somali. The three journalists were on duty at the time of the attack. We strongly condemn these attacks and we call for the perpetrators to be held accountable,” SJS President, Mohamed Ibrahim said. “We send our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Mohamed Isse Koonaa – particularly his young wife and his son as we look pray for the swift recovery for Feisal Omar and Abdukadir Mohamed Abdulle who are now at the hospital.”
Abdukadir Mohamed Abdulle has survived the 2017 truck bombing in Mogadishu.
“We strongly condemn the attack that killed Universal TV journalist, Mohamed Isse Koonaa and injured Reuters photo-journalist Feisal Omar and VOA Somali/M24 TV journalist, Abdukadir Mohamed Abdulle in Mogadishu today. We call for immediate support for the injured journalists and establish safety mechanism for other journalists,” SOMA Secretary-General, Mohamed Osman Makaran said.
Journalists in Somalia are at very serious crossroads and are in need of immediate protection as threats against independent journalists doubled to unprecedented level. We appeal for the federal government and members of the international community to provide and support protection and safety mechanism for journalists in Somalia as we also call for media houses and their journalists to exercise extra caution.
The 29-year-old prominent television reporter, Mohamed Isse Koonaa has left behind a young wife and a son. He becomes the second journalist killed in Somalia this year. On 30 September, SNTV camera-journalist, Ahmed Mohamed Shakur was killed as he covered the ongoing military operation in the town of Basra, about 30km north of Mogadishu.