A Malaysian television cameraman was shot dead on Friday and another wounded by African peacekeepers in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, witnesses and a local aid worker hosting the journalists said.
Muhideen Mohamed, who works with the Malaysian Putera1 Malaysia Club charity, said the cameraman had been killed by peacekeepers from the AMISOM force who were patrolling the city that has been the centre of an Islamist insurgency.
“AMISOM killed a Malaysian journalist and injured another between the K4 road junction and Mogadishu airport on Friday,” Mohamed, the aid group’s local coordinator told Reuters.
The peacekeepers’ armoured convoy had been heading towards the airport, where they are based, when they opened fire on the journalists’ vehicle, Mohamed said.
“Two bullets hit the journalist, one in the head and another on the shoulder. He died on the spot,” he said, adding the second reporter suffered a bullet wound on one arm.
A spokesman for the peacekeepers said they were aware of the shooting. “We are investigating who opened fire. Was it AMISOM or another group?” Prosper Hakizimana, AMISOM’s deputy spokesman told Reuters.
A statement on the website of the Malaysian news agency Bernama named the cameraman as 39-year-old Noramfaizul Mohd Nor and said he had been on a humanitarian mission to the famine-struck nation.
One witness said the charity’s staff were well known in the area. “The Malaysian car was turning into a small road just in front of my shop when an AMISOM convoy opened fire,” shopkeeper Mohamed Ali told Reuters. “I know the workers for they always pass here.”
The 9,000-strong AMISOM force is effectively all that prevents al Qaeda-affiliated rebels from overthrowing the U.N.-backed government.
The al Shabaab militants withdrew from Mogadishu last month but warned they would carry out guerrilla attacks on the coastal city such as suicide car bomb attacks and assassinations.