Mohammed Abdullahi Khalif

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Attacks had become so pervasive in this conflict-riven state that the National Union of Somali Journalists described 2006 as "the most dangerous year for press freedom for more than a decade." Then came 2007--a year in which conditions grew dramatically worse.

With seven journalists killed in direct relation to their work, Somalia was the deadliest place for the press in Africa and second only to Iraq worldwide. The deaths came amid widespread violence in this Horn of Africa state, which has had no effective central government since 1991. The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees reported that nearly 600,000 people had fled during the year, as the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), backed by Ethiopian troops, clashed repeatedly with the militias of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), a coalition of fundamentalist law courts that had held power for six months in 2006.

New York, August 24, 2007—A young reporter returning from a journalism training workshop in the Somali capital of Mogadishu was shot dead today in southwestern Somalia when clan militiamen ambushed his vehicle, according to the National Union of Somali Journalists.

Abdulkadir Mahad Moallim Kaskey, a correspondent of the private, Mogadishu-based station Radio Banadir, was the only passenger killed when the truck he was in was shot at by gunmen. About 15 people in the Toyota pickup were traveling north of the southwestern commercial city of Bardera, in Gedo province, local journalist Mohamed Gaarane told CPJ. Kaskey died of a single bullet to the chest in the midnight incident, which left at least two other passengers wounded, Gaarane said.

New York, May 17, 2007—Two radio reporters covering a provincial governor in south-central Somalia were gunned down on Wednesday after the official’s motorcade was ambushed by clan militia.

News editor Abshir Ali Gabre and reporter Ahmed Hassan Mahad of Radio Jowhar were killed when the motorcade of Mohammed Omar Deele, governor of the Middle Shabelle province, came under attack from gunmen of a rival sub-clan, according to local journalists. Deele was unharmed, but at least six people were killed and several injured in the ensuing gun battle, the independent station Radio Shabelle reported.
New York, May 9, 2007—The Committee to Protect Journalists mourns the death on Saturday of Mohammed Abdullahi Khalif, a contributor to the private radio station Voice of Peace in Somalia’s northeastern, semi-autonomous region of Puntland. Khalif was killed by crossfire while covering an army raid on an illegal gun market in the city of Galkayo.

Khalif died from a bullet to the chest as soldiers were raiding the dealership to recover an assault rifle allegedly stolen from the army, according to the National Union of Somali Journalists and local journalists. One other person died and several others were wounded in the raid.

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