Somali authorities arrests two suspects in killings of journalists in Somalia

Somali authorities said Sunday they are holding two suspects in connection with the deaths of two prominent journalists who were killed within hours of each other on Saturday, according to reports reaching here.

Mogadishu Mayor Mohamed Dheere told a news conference in the Somali capital that the two suspects were arrested on Saturday night, adding that one of them has confessed to being involved in both attacks.

"These men are in the hands of police forces. They are being investigated," Dheere said according to Somali news portal, Shabelle News.

Ali Iman Sharmarke, managing director of HornAfrik Radio, died when his car was blown up as he and colleagues in a convoy of media mourners were returning from the burial of Mahad Ahmed Elmi, director of Radio Capital Voice, who was shot dead earlier Saturday in Mogadishu .

These deaths are the latest in a series of attacks that have claimed six media lives in Somalia this year, Xinhua reports.

Saturday's deaths bring to six the total of journalists killed in the country this year.

"These savage killings are an indicator of the perilous conditions facing journalists in Somalia , where chaos and lawlessness threaten independent journalism," said the International Federation of Journalists in a statement.

And a UN envoy Sunday condemned the killing of the journalists and called for action to ensure the freedom and safety of the media.

Eric Laroche, the UN's resident and humanitarian co-ordinator for Somalia, urged all authorities and groups "to respect the right of all to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information through any media," reports.