Somali journalist killed by insurgents

 

SOMALI:Gunmen shot dead a Somali radio reporter yesterday, the third journalist killed in two weeks, colleagues said.

Abdulkadir Mahad Moallim Kaskey, of local Radio Banadir, died when attackers opened fire on a minibus in southwestern Gedo province, the local journalists' union said.

Another passenger was hurt in the early morning attack. The identity of the attackers was not known.

Seven Somali journalists have been murdered this year following Mr Kaskey's death, the union said.

"This is a really agonising act, and we strongly condemn this roughshod killing of Abdulkadir Mahad Moallim," said Omar Faruk Osman, head of the National Union of Somali Journalists.

The Horn of Africa nation of nine million people is racked by an Islamist-led insurgency against the Somali government and its Ethiopian military backers.

With foreign media largely staying out of Somalia due to security risks, local reporters take extreme risks to report the conflict for both Somali media and foreign news agencies.

Mr Kaskey's death followed the killing in Mogadishu on August 11th of two prominent journalists from the HornAfrik media house. One was gunned down on his way to work, the other died in a remote-controlled blast returning from the funeral.

"The killing of a colleague is a sore and insensate act, but the exceptionally painful thing is when you cannot get justice," said Osman.

"We urge the international community to demand and carry out an international investigation of the killing of journalists."

Press freedom watchdog the International Federation of Journalists said the "latest killing confirms our fears that journalism has become more dangerous than ever in Somalia".

Prime minister Ali Mohamed Gedi, who has survived half a dozen assassination attempts, told reporters this month he was deeply concerned about rising violence against the media.

"We want journalists to be able to do their work freely, and we are doing all we can to help them do that," he said.