CPJ mourns the death of Somali reporter

CPJ mourns the death of Somali reporter

New York, January 28, 2008—The Committee to Protect Journalists mourns the death of Somali National News Agency reporter Hassan Kafi Hared today. Hared died in a landmine explosion and subsequent gunfire in Siyad Village in the southwestern port town of Kismayo.

A remote-controlled mine blew up a Medecins Sans Frontières-Holland vehicle, killing two aid workers and the driver as well as Hared, who was walking near the vehicle when the mine went off, local journalists told CPJ. Guards with the aid organization opened fire in the area after the explosion. It was not immediately clear whether Hared died from the explosion or from gunshot wounds—both bullet and mine shrapnel wounds were found in his body, according to local journalists.

Hared, who also worked for the news Web site Gedonet, was on his way to a press conference at the Kismayo police station when he was killed. The 36-year old reporter was rushed to Kismayo General Hospital in critical condition but died an hour later, at around 1 p.m.

“We send our deepest sympathies to the family and colleagues of Hassan Kafi Hared,” said Joel Simon, CPJ’s executive director. “Somalia continues to be a treacherous place for the journalists who risk their lives to bring the story of the ongoing conflict to the world.”

According to local journalists, six Kismayo-based journalists have fled the region to Kenya since October due to threats on their lives. The Kismayo region is controlled by the Marehan clan of the late President Siad Barre and remains outside the control of the Transitional Federal Government of the Republic of Somalia.

Last year, Somalia was ranked the second-most dangerous place to be a journalist worldwide by CPJ, with seven killed in the line of duty.