Media Watch

Somali Journalist murdered in Put land

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Special correspondent


March 5, 2012–The three gunmen on Sunday shot Ali Ahmed Abdi, 24, repeatedly in the head and chest at around 9 p.m. near Hotel Guure in the north central town of Galkayo, according to news reports. Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has condemned the murder of a former Somali journalist who was shot in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland.

The victim, Abdi, had recently resigned as a manager for a news outlet that has come under attack by Al-Shabaab insurgents. Abdi worked as the programming head for Radio Galkayo for three years but had resigned about a month ago to pursue higher education, local journalists told said.

He also used to write a column for the pro-government news website Puntlandi, Ahmed Garane, a local journalist and Abdi’s friend, told CPJ. Local journalists said Abdi was still contributing to a community radio station in Canada.

Local journalists also said that they suspected Abdi was targeted by members of the Al-Shabaab insurgency because of his affiliation with Radio Galkayo and Puntlandi. “He contacted me a week before and told me he feared for his life without giving specifics,” Garane told CPJ.

Radio Galkayo, one of the few outspoken critics of Al-Shabaab, has been targeted with recent attacks. In October, unknown assailants hurled a grenade at the station, destroying part of their offices, CPJ research shows. One month earlier, gunmen shot Radio Galkayo reporter Horriyo Abdelkadir four times as the 20-year-old reporter left the station. She survived the attack.

Police were investigating, but the motive behind the killing was unknown, Puntland Police Commander Mohamed Said Jaganaf told journalists.

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