- Veteran journalist Abdallah Nurdin Ahmad was wounded Tuesday night in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, when an unidentified gunman fired three times at close range, according to local press freedom groups. Mr Nurdin, a senior producer at the private radio station 'HornAfrik', underwent surgery at Medina Hospital and was recovering today.
The local press freedom group, the Somali Press Freedom Violation Monitors, said Mr Nurdin was thought to have been shot for his radio station work and that 'HornAfrik' journalists and staff had been targeted by armed militias before. 'HornAfrik' is the leading independent radio broadcaster in Somalia's war-ravaged capital.
According to the Somali Journalists Network (SOJON), the attack on Mr Nurdin was not necessarily motivated by his work as a journalist. SOJON told the New york-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) that its investigations had pointed to a business motive.
Mr Nurdin also owns a snack bar in central Mogadishu, and several sources had indicated to SOJON that a dispute over that business could have sparked the shooting. Rivalling Mogadishu militias are known to use arms in their fight for economic control of parts of the city. The attack on Mr Nurdin had occurred at his snack bar.
Ali Iman Sharmake, the co-manager of 'HornAfrik', told CPJ it was not clear why Mr Nurdin was targeted. He however assumed it could have been for his work as a very well-known journalist.
Mr Iman described Mr Nurdin as the "godfather of Somali journalists," a well-known playwright, and a songwriter. Mr Nurdin hosts a weekend entertainment programme for 'HornAfrik', and he produces and provides the voice for advertisements, according to Mr Iman.
Attacks on the independent press and business leaders in Somalia have been on the increase since militia leaders elected a new government for the country in Kenyan exile last year. Many see these attacks as a power struggle and positioning before the new government relocates to Mogadishu.
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