Journalist killed in Somalia; a dangerous country for media

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon - Associated Press

MOGADISHU — Unidentified gunmen shot dead a female journalist in Somalia's capital yesterday, a radio producer at state-run Radio Mogadishu said.

Sagal Salad Osman, a producer for the station, was shot outside a university in the west of Mogadishu on and later died at a hospital in the city, Mustafa Hussein said.

Attacks on journalists are common in war-ravaged Somalia and media rights group say both Islamic extremists and the government have reason to target media. Osman is the first journalist killed in Somalia this year.

Last year, three journalists were killed, including Hindia Haji Mohamed, who worked for the state-run broadcaster and was the widow of a murdered journalist. She was killed in December when a bomb blew up her car, an attack claimed by the Islamic extremist group al-Shabab.

Somalia is one of the most dangerous countries for media workers, 59 journalists have been killed since 1992, soon after a civil war began in the Horn of Africa nation, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. The deadliest year was 2012 when 18 were killed.

It's not entirely clear who has been killing journalists. Al-Shabab rebels, warlords, criminals, and even government agents all could have reasons.

Somali journalists frequently receive threats. But police rarely investigate them or adequately protect reporters.

The deadliest country for journalists in 2015 was Syria, where 14 were killed, followed by France with nine, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Around the world, 72 journalists were killed in 2015 and 10 have been killed so far this year.

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