Mogadishu - Gunmen shot and seriously wounded a Somali
journalist in the volatile southern port city of Kismayo, officials and
colleagues said Thursday, the latest in a string of attacks against the media.
Unidentified attackers shot Abdikadir Abdirasak Sofe - also
known by his nickname "Jijile", a reporter for London-based Royal TV -
as he walked home after work late on Wednesday.
"Two men, one of them armed with an AK-47, opened
fire," said Ali Mohamed, a witness.
The reporter, who reportedly had several bullet wounds to
his upper body, was rushed to hospital.
Two men were later arrested for the assassination attempt,
but it was not immediately clear what their motive had been, said Mohamed
Saleban, a Somali military official in Kismayo.
Somalia is one of the most dangerous places for journalists,
with at least 18 media workers killed last year.
"We condemn the shooting of our colleague in the
strongest terms possible," said Mohamed Ibrahim, from the National Union
of Somali Journalists.
The attack on Sofe follows the murder of at least four
reporters this year.
Somalia has been ravaged by conflict since 1991, but a new
UN-backed government took power last year.
However, the attack on Sofe took place in the southern
Somali port of Kismayo, under the control of a self-declared regional
"president", who is allied to Kenyan troops with the African Union
force in the region.
Al-Qaeda linked Shabaab insurgents were driven from Kismayo
last year by Kenyan and allied Somali forces, but still regularly stage attacks
on the city.
However, multiple rival clan militia forces also operate in
the southern Jubaland region vying for control.