Somali radio reporter shot dead

2012-05-03 11:43
Mogadishu - Gunmen shot dead a Somali radio reporter in the northern Galkayo region, the fifth journalist to be killed in the war-torn country this year alone, colleagues and police said on Thursday.

Journalist Farhan Jeemis Abdulle, who worked for Radio Daljir in the northern breakaway Puntland region, was gunned down late on Wednesday as he headed home shortly after leaving the radio station.

"The journalist was killed by masked men and after shooting him, they escaped without leaving traces," police official Mohamed Gelle said.

"The police carried out security operations after the killing but no one has been arrested so far, though investigations are still going on."

Press freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has described Somalia as the deadliest African nation for journalists, and the killing came on the eve of World Press Freedom Day.

Colleagues said Abdulle left the station without having any security concerns but shortly afterwards the information about his death was announced.

"He left the radio station and a few minutes later we were told he was dead... it was shocking and unbelievable to all of us, they brutally shot him several times," said Abdifatah Omar, Radio Daljir director.

No group has claimed responsibility of the journalist's killing.

Galkayo, which straddles the border between the northern breakaway Puntland and the self-proclaimed separate region of Galmudug in central Somalia, has seen clashes between rival political or clan groups in recent months.

Somalia has had no effective government since 1991 and in recent years al-Qaeda-allied Shabaab insurgents and other armed groups have taken control of much of the country.

"Somalia's permanent state of conflict creates a highly dangerous atmosphere for reporters and their work is made even more risky, even impossible, by the intolerance of Islamist militias towards freedom of information," the RSF said in a statement.

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