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Somali journalist shot dead in attack

Statesman News Service |

Agence France-Presse
MOGADISHU, 8 JULY: A Somali journalist was shot dead by unidentified gunmen. He being the fifth media worker to be killed in the conflict-ridden country this year, as reported by a colleague and witnesses. 
Liban Abdulahi Farah, also known as Liban Qaran, worked for the newly launched Kalsan satellite television station.
He was attacked on his way home yesterday in the central town of Galkayo, on the border between the semi-autonomous region of Puntland and the region of Galmudug.
“We are really devastated with the information about the death of Liban Qaran,” said his colleague Abdukadir Ahmed.
“Four armed men opened fire and killed him,” he added.
Mohamed Gelle, a witness, said the victim died instantly.
“They shot him several times in the upper part of his body,” he said. “The killers escaped the scene.”
Somalia is one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists, with at least 18 media workers killed last year.
The murder of Liban Qaran follows the deaths of at least four other reporters in shootings or attacks since January, all of them in the capital.
A journalist for Mogadishu’s Radio Shabelle was shot dead in January.
In March, a journalist was killed when he was caught up in a suicide bombing, while a female radio reporter was shot dead later that month.
A fourth journalist was killed by armed men near his home in April.
Somalia has been ravaged by conflict since 1991, but a new UN-backed government took power last year, raising hopes of an end to decades of war.
The attacks on journalists are often blamed on Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab insurgents, but they are also believed to be linked to a settling of scores within the multiple factions in power.