BY CGTN

Somali journalists mourn colleague killed in blast

Somali journalists on Wednesday mourned the death of a fellow media practitioner who was killed during a fierce fighting between Somalia National Army (SNA) and al-Shabab militants in the country’s southern region.

The Federation of Somali Journalists (FESOJ), confirmed that Gacal Abdulle Gacal, a cameraman, was among those killed on Wednesday when the militants attacked a military base in Awdheegle town.

“We are so shocked to hear the death of our colleague Gacal in a big blast in Awdheegle village. He went there for assignment and embedded (undercover) with troops,” Mohamed Muse, director of SNA radio, said.

The explosion went of after a suicide bomber detonated his car laden with explosives in Awdheegle town.

Heavy gunfire followed the blast as troops from SNA engaged the militants in battle.

The Somali security forces said they killed seven militants and foiled the attack.

Gacal is the third journalist to be killed in Somalia since the beginning of 2019, according to FESOJ.

The union called upon the warring parties in the Horn of African country to respect the freedom of the press.

“We condemn radio journalist Gacal’s murder in the strongest terms as it is a serious press freedom violation. We demand an investigation how the journalist is killed,” Abdadir Abdulkadir Elmi, president of FESOJ said.

Al-Shabaab has waged a war in Somalia for over a decade, killing tens of thousands and forcing millions to flee their homes.

Somali authorities have teamed up with regional forces to rid the country of militants.

While gains have been made in the war, the terror group still manages to launch attacks occasionally.

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