Two unknown, hooded gunmen shot Abdirisak Ali Abdi in the head and chest while he was sitting in a restaurant in the northern suburb of Galkayo town, according to news reports and the director of Daljir Radio, Mohamed Abdulahi, who spoke to CPJ. The two gunmen fled the scene before police arrived. Abdirisak died while receiving treatment for his injuries at Mudug General Hospital, the same sources said.
Police said they were investigating, although no arrests were made, according to local journalists and news reports.
Abdirisak was a reporter and newscaster for the privately owned Radio Daljir and a reporter for the Hargeisa-based HornCable TV. Radio Daljir Editor Abdifatah Omar said Abdirisak had routinely covered local politics in the semi-autonomous Puntland region.
Local journalists told CPJ they could not specify a story that could have led to Abdirasak’s murder but that he covered local politics in Puntland, including last year’s elections. According to a report by the independent Dalsan Radio, just days before his death, Abdirisak had told a friend on Facebook that he feared for his life. The report did not elaborate.
Radio Daljir’s Galkayo station has been targeted repeatedly in recent years. Unknown assailants threw grenades at the station in Galkayo in 2011 and 2013. The station’s premises were damaged both times, and one security guard was injured, the journalists said. In May 2012, unidentified gunmen killed Farhan Jeemis Abdulle, a producer, editor, and host for Radio Daljir, as he walked home from work at the station, according to news reports. Local journalists said at the time that they suspected Al-Shabaab insurgents had killed Farhan in connection with his coverage of a program that encouraged young people to lay down their guns.
At least two other journalists have been killed in Galkayo since early 2012, according to CPJ research. Ali Ahmed Abdi, a freelance journalist, was shot in the head in March 2012. Liban Abdullahi Farah, a correspondent for Kalsan TV, was killed by gunmen in Galkayo in July 2013.