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Somali: Targeted attacks on Somali journalists - 18 killed since January 2012
On the evening of 29 October 2012, unknown gunmen shot dead journalist Warsame Shire Awale, aged 60 years, in Mogadishu, bringing to 18 the total number of journalists killed in Somalia since the beginning of this year.
The journalist worked for a Mogadishu-based radio station. He was attacked on his way home. Neighbours tried to rush him to a nearby hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival. The National Union of Somali Journalists has confirmed that Awale had been receiving threats as a result of comments he made on air about gunmen targeting civilians.
On 23 October 2012, unknown assailants had also shot dead Farah Ilyas, a.k.a. Ahmed Saakin near his home. Farah worked as a correspondent for the London-based Universal Tv. The attack against him occurred barely one week after he and three other Somali journalists were detained by Somaliland forces in connection with their alleged reporting on women who expressed support for the newly appointed Prime Minister.
On 21 October 2012, we learned about the death of journalist Mohamed Mohamed Tuyare, at Madina Hospital, who died from the wounds he had sustained after being shot by unknown assailants a few days before.
In previous months, many more journalists were killed and others wounded. While some of the killings may have been the result of crossfire or may have had other motives, it is reported that most of these attacks were carried out by Al Shabab militants in disapproval of the stories produced by the journalists, which in many cases highlighted human rights violations or gave voice to the community.
To this date, none of the assailants responsible for these attacks has been apprehended. The rampant impunity is a strong contributing factor of the alarming recurrence of these attacks.
Below is a list of some of those who were killed from January to September 2012.
— Jan. 28: Gunmen kill Hassan Osman Abdi, the director of Shabelle radio in Mogadishu.
— Feb. 28: Gunmen kill Abukar Hassan Mohamoud, the director of Somaliweyn Radio in Mogadishu.
— March 4: Ali Ahmed Abdi, a reporter for Radio Galkayo, was killed in Galkayo in central Somalia
— April 5: Mahad Salad Aden, a reporter with Shabelle radio, was killed in Beledweyne, central Somalia.
— May 2: Farhan Jeemis Abdulle, a reporter with Radio Daljir, was killed in Galkayo.
— May 23: Ahmed Addow Anshur, a producer with Shabelle radio, was killed in Mogadishu.
— July 31: Abdi Jeylani Malaq, a Somali comedian and TV producer, was killed in Mogadishu.
— Aug. 12: Yusuf Ali Osman, a veteran reporter who had been serving as the director of Somalia's Information Ministry. Journalist Mohamud Ali Yare, killed in crossfire after government troops open fire on each other at a sports stadium.
— Sept. 20: Liban Ali Nur, an editor at Somali National TV; Abdisatar Daher Sabriye, a reporter with Radio Mogadishu; and Abdirahman Yasin Ali, the director of Radio Hamar. All three were killed when suicide bombers blew themselves up inside a popular café in Mogadishu.
— Sept. 21: Hassan Yusuf Absuge, Radio Maanta was killed in Mogadishu.
— Sept. 27: The decapitated body of Abdirahman Mohamed Ali, a sportswriter was found north of Mogadishu.
— Sept. 28: Ahmed Abdullahi Fanah, a reporter with the Yemeni news agency SABA, was killed in Mogadishu.