After gunmen killed Somali journalist Hassan Osman Abdi, colleagues and friends were too scared to attend his funeral, since militants in Somalia have targeted such gatherings in the past. Mr. Abdi, a twenty-nine-year-old director of a radio station, was a father of three.
Mr. Abdi’s death was the second killing of a Somali journalist in less than two months. The attacks have sent waves of trepidation through Mogadishu’s media community.
The militant group al-Shabab appeared to claim responsibility for Mr. Abdi’s death, saying that the killing would serve as a “lesson” to other journalists.
Reporters said Mr. Abdi’s phone had voice messages on it from callers claiming to be al-Shabab militants, who threatened to kill him if he didn’t leave his job.
Somalia was most dangerous for journalists in 2009, when nine journalists were killed, according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists.
There have been two killings in just over a month. A man wearing a Somali government uniform shot Abdisalan Sheik Hassan, a journalist with Horn Cable TV, in December. Now journalists are starting to feel targeted again.
Somalia President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed called Saturday’s killing a senseless murder and a terrible tragedy. He asked the public to aid authorities investigating the case.
Mogadishu’s journalists union called for the government bring suspects to justice.
Somali and African Union troops over the last year have largely pushed al-Shabab militants out of the city, which is far safer today than a year ago overall.
Via The Washington Post.