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Somali radio journalist killed by explosive device placed in vehicle

People look at the wreckage of a car at the scene of an explosion where a local journalist Yusuf Keynan was killed in Mogadishu, 21 June 2014
People look at the wreckage of a car at the scene of an explosion where a local journalist Yusuf Keynan was killed in Mogadishu, 21 June 2014

REUTERS/Feisal Omar

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) condemns the killing of a radio journalist, Yusuf Ahmed Abukar Keynan, who was assassinated on the morning of 21 June 2014 when an explosive device ripped through his vehicle at Eel Gaab junction in the Hamarweyne District of Mogadishu.

Witnesses said that the device exploded with a loud bang, leaving behind a completely devastated vehicle. Police who immediately reached the spot were unable to put out the fire, which resulted in the journalist perishing inside the car.

The journalist, 27, was working for privately owned Radio Mustaqbal (meaning "future"). He had previously worked for a number of radio stations. Sadly, he is the first journalist killed in this year in Somalia.

“Actually the explosive device was fitted [to] the vehicle. It might [have been] either a remote controlled device or connected with the switch of the vehicle. Yusuf Keynan had started his career over the past five years and was very hard working and dedicated journalist. But this was an assassination act to kill my colleague,” said a Radio Mustaqbal journalist who does not want to be named for safety reasons.

NUSOJ demands that the government direct local authorities to fully and promptly investigate the murder of Yusuf Ahmed Abukar Keynan and the killings of other media professionals.

“We send our condolences to the friends and family of Yusuf Ahmed Abukar Keynan. We also join Yusuf's family in mourning his death and demand that authorities take swift action to bring his killers to justice,” said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General.

NUSOJ expresses despair at the government's lamentable failure to make good on its promise to ensure authorities take action to prevent murders of journalists.

"Somalia's power-holders must act to end the culture of impunity for the murders of journalists, and order local and federal authorities to conduct immediate, thorough and transparent investigations in order to prosecute killers," added Osman.

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