Reporter dies of gunshot injuries; 4th fatality this year

New York, May 26, 2009–The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply saddened by news that radio reporter Nur Muse Hussein died today as a result of gunshot wounds suffered while covering fighting in April. Hussein, left, a veteran correspondent for Radio IQK, suffered two bullet wounds to his right leg while reporting on clashes between militia groups in the central town of Beledweyn on April 20, according to the National Union of Somali Journalists.

“We offer our deep condolences to the family and colleagues of Nur Muse Hussein,” CPJ Africa Program Coordinator Tom Rhodes said. “Fighting in Somalia has taken a terrible toll on the press corps, which continues to work under extraordinarily dangerous circumstances.”

Local journalist Abdel Rahim Dinni told CPJ that Hussein died in his home early this morning. One of the most senior journalists working in the region, Hussein had started his career in 1970 as a journalist for the Somali National News Agency, the news Web site Mareeg reported. He is survived by a wife and five children.

In the past several weeks, journalists have faced heightened risk in covering fighting that has involved at various times Transitional Federal Government forces, allied militias, and Islamist insurgents. On Friday, Radio Shabelle reporter Abdirisak Mohamed Warsame was shot and killed during crossfire in the capital, Mogadishu.

On May 10, four journalists were injured by mortar shells while covering a press conference convened by a spokesman for the Islamist insurgency Al-Shabaab, according to the national union and local journalists. Four days later, a stray bullet struck reporter Nimco Hassan Ali of the independent broadcaster HornAfrik as she was interviewing civilians fleeing violence in Mogadishu, according to HornAfrik. She remains hospitalized, according to local journalists.

Hussein is the fourth Somali journalist killed in relation to his work this year.