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Somali journalist wounded in car bombing: police

December 3, 2015

A Somali journalist was seriously wounded when a bomb exploded under her car in Mogadishu on Thursday, police and colleagues said.

Hindiyo Haji Mohamed, a journalist with the national television station, SNTV, was returning home from university when the bomb detonated.

Mohamed’s late husband, also a journalist with the same television station, was killed in a suicide attack on a Mogadishu restaurant in 2012.

“There was an explosion from a bomb thought to have been attached to the car… she was seriously wounded,” police officer Abdi Hassan said.

“Her legs are badly wounded, we don’t know why she has been targeted,” colleague Mohamed Ali said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Al-Qaeda’s East Africa branch, the Shebab, carry out regular attacks against government officials and journalists, who are also targeted for assassination by businessmen and politicians who object to their reporting.

Somalia is one of the most dangerous countries for journalists to operate, with some attacks believed linked to score-settling within the multiple factions in power.

The Shebab is fighting to overthrow the internationally-backed government in Mogadishu, which is protected by 22,000 African Union troops.

Meanwhile, fighting raged in the central Somali town of Galkayo, despite a peace deal signed by rival forces from Galmudug and Puntland districts on Wednesday.

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud on Wednesday welcomed the deal, which he said, “shows the political maturity of our people and leaders towards promoting peace and development.”

But security sources said fighting resumed soon after the president’s statement.

The Galmudug administration said residential areas had been hit by, “all kinds of weapons including tanks, artillery and mortars indiscriminately.”

Dispatches from AFP concerning freedom of information, censorship and news coverage in regions where independent media is under threat.