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TV Journalist killed in Somalia; a dangerous country for media

By Staff reporter , Garowe Online
Abdiwali Online has worked for Radio Kulmye in Mogadishu and Universal TV based in London, UK.

MOGADISHU, Somalia — Unidentified gunmen killed a young and talented journalist in Afgoye town, 30km (18 miles) south of Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on Sunday evening, Garowe Online reports.

Abdiwali Ali Hassan alias (Abdiwali Online), 25, has been shot several bullets on the head and the chest, as he was on his way to his home in Hawo Tako village at 6:14 p.m. local time, family members said.

“Abdiwali Online was attacked by two men armed with pistols as he was returning home in Hawo Tako neighborhood from work on Sunday evening,” said a media colleague Mohamed Said.

He added that the journalist was shot more than five times on the head and check, sustained critical wounds in the attack. Abdwali Online succumbed to his serious injuries as he was rushed to the hospital.

The slain journalist has worked for a local radio station in Mogadishu and the London-based Somali television channel [Universal TV] as a reporter covering Lower Shabelle region, a hotbed of terror.

The killers fled the scene before the arrival of the local security forces, per witnesses.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the murder of the journalist. Somali journalists frequently receive threats, but, police rarely investigate them or adequately protect reporters.

Abdiwali becomes the first journalist to be killed in Somalia, a long-chaotic and lawless country ranked one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist.

He is survived by his wife and two children, according to his colleague.

The deadliest year was 2012 when 18 were killed. It’s not entirely clear who has been killing the Somali journalists. Al-Shabaab extremists, criminals, and even government agents all could have reasons.

In its latest report this year entitled “We live in perpetual fear”, Amnesty International said Killings, corruption, and censorship besiege media freedom in Somalia, accusing the authorities in the Federal Government of Somalia of aggressively threatening the journalists with dire consequences for critical reporting.