Al-Shabaab claims murder of ‘Brave, inspiring’ Somali journalist
GALKAYO, Puntland - Al-Shabaab claimed the responsibility for the murder of a veteran news reporter and editor who was on Monday shot dead in Galkayo, a town that borders Puntland and Galmadug.
Jamal Farah's killing marks the first journalist to be killed in Somalia this year, in the latest wave of violence targeting the media, in a country where freedom of speech is almost equivalent to a treasonable offense.
Farah, a radio journalist, was shot by gunmen in a shop he used to run in the northern town in the evening and rushed to a nearby hospital where he breathed his last, according to witnesses.
Following the cold murder, the terror group has taken responsibility for the assassination in is part of the cases of arbitrary arrests, harassment, and even murder targeting journalists are synonymous in Somalia.
The media watchdogs have condemned Farah's killing and even called for an urgent probe by Puntland authorities. Police are said to have commenced investigations as they try to bring the culprits to justice.
Mohamed Abdirahman, an advisor to Puntland President Said Abdullahi Deni, also condemned the murder, while recognizing immense contributions made by the slain journalist. Farah, he noted, was a chief critic of Al-Shabaab militants.
"My deepest condolences to the family and friends of Jamal Farah Aden killed in Galkayo. He was a brave journalist who dared to criticize terrorists," he said. "I salute and encourage Somali journalists to continue their work to inform the public despite the daily struggles and risks."
Galkayo has been a hotbed of terror in central Somalia, something which prompted operations by the Puntland and Galmudug joint security forces, who have managed to flush quite a number of militants from the Mudug region.