Geneva - The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor strongly condemned a terrorist bombing that targeted a hotel in Somalia and left dozens dead and wounded, including two journalists.
The Geneva-based international organization said that Friday's suicide bombing in the southern Somali city of Kismayo, which killed 24 people and wounded 56, was a horrific act and a mass murder.
“Canadian journalist, Hodan Nalayeh, and her husband were among the victims of the attack, in addition to journalist Mohammed Sahel known as ‘Jumtairi’, who works for SBC, a local Somali channel,” said Selin Yasar, Euro-Med's communication and media officer.
The Somali government reported the deaths and injuries of non-Somali nationals in the bombing.
According to local Somali reports, the Somali security forces managed put off the attack that targeted the hotel after hours of gunfire clashes and killed the five attackers.
Al-Shabab, a Somali armed group, announced on Friday evening its responsibility for the attack, according to a statement posted on the website of Somalimemo, which belongs to the group. The attack comes at a time when Kismayo is preparing to hold local presidential elections for the state of Jubaland in August.
Yasar stressed that all parties in Somalia should protect the right to life by enforcing law and punishing human rights violators and perpetrators of violence.
The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor called on the Somali government and the Somali security forces to open an independent investigation into the horrific crime in order to bring those responsible to justice.
The Geneva-based organization stressed that such attacks assert the attackers’ disregard for human life, aussring the responsibility of the local authorities to take all appropriate steps to ease tensions and possible outbreaks of further violence.