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One journalist killed, another missing in Oct 14 bombing in Mogadishu

Storyline:National News
An injured man is moved from the scene of the truck bomb attack October 14. Photo: Goobjoog News

One journalist was killed, one still missing and four others were injured in the deadly truck bomb attack in Mogadishu that has now left 358 people dead and over 200 others injured.

Described as the deadliest bomb attack in Somalia’s history, the explosion destroyed buildings, left dozens incinerated in their vehicles as fire razed vehicles and left the once bustling Zope junction into a scene of death and destruction.

VOA America freelance journalist Ali Noor Siid was killed in the attack while his colleague Abdulkadir Mohamed Abdulle aka OK was badly injured. VOA mourned the death of Ali.

“On behalf of the entire agency, my deepest condolences go out to Mr. Siad’s family. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the injured and those who lost their lives in Mogadishu,” VOA Director Amanda Bennett in a statement.

Ali’s brother Baakr Siid Ahmed said the death of Ali was a shock to the family. We are still devastated, said Ahmed.

“He is my young brother and was self- employed as a cameraman and working as a journalist with OK. Unfortunately he died. We never expected he would end up this way,” Ahmed, told Goobjoog News.

OK suffered a broken arm, burns and shrapnel on his body. He was airlifted to Turkey for further treatment. OK is a VOA Somali service journalist. Ali and OK were on assignment when the explosion went at around 3.45pm local time.

Abdullahi Osman Farah, a journalist with Maandeeq FM a sister station of Goobjoog News is still missing. Abdullahi is reported to have been in a restaurant in Zoope Junction at the time of the explosion. Medical sources estimated 130 bodies could not be identified because they were severely burned. A report from the Ministry of Health Friday indicates 56 people are still missing.

Abdiqani Ali Seed who until recently was the director of Goobjoog Business suffered injury on his left leg and was transferred to Sudan for treatment. Ahmed Abdi Hadi, a freelance media journalist and analyst survived the attack with a leg injury. “We were with Abdikani in Safari Hotel when the explosion happened. Abdikani was in the washroom. I had just pulled a chair to sit when the bomb went off,” Ahmed said.

“Everybody was on the ground crying for help. As I walked in pain out of the hotel, I saw a man buried in the ruble and with other people we pulled him out. I was in so much pain and was profusely bleeding from my right leg. I had to seek help.” Ahmed narrated to Goobjoog News.

Mohamed Omar Baakay, a producer with Goobjoog FM was also in Safari Hotel but sustained minor injuries.

The Committee to Protect Journalists now puts the number of journalists who have died in Somalia since 1992 at 62.