Nairobi, July 8, 2013–Two unidentified gunmen killed TV reporter Liban Abdullahi on Sunday evening in Galkayo, a central town in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland, according to local journalists and news reports.
Liban, who was also known as “Liban Qaran,” had left his office and was headed to his home in Wadajir village in northern Galkayo when unidentified gunmen approached and shot him several times, according to Mohamed Gelle, an eyewitness to the attack, who spoke to Agence France-Presse. The assailants fled the scene before security officers arrived. Liban died from his injuries upon reaching a local hospital, local journalists said.
Liban was covering the lead-up to the July 15 council elections as a correspondent for the newly launched, U.K.-based Kalsan satellite television station, according to news reports and local journalists. In Puntland’s first democratic council elections, four registered political associations will be competing for district council seats. Parliamentary elections will follow later this year, news reports said.
“The fatal attack on a journalist covering landmark elections in Puntland is alarming,” said CPJ East Africa Consultant Tom Rhodes. “Authorities must do their utmost to investigate and apprehend the perpetrators.”
Liban had worked for a variety of broadcasters in the past 10 years, including Radio SBC (Somali Broadcasting Corporation), Radio Daljir, Codka Nabadda (“Voice of Peace”), and Royal Television, local journalists said. He is survived by a wife and five children.
At least two journalists were killed earlier in 2013 in direct relation to their work in Somalia, which CPJ has ranked the deadliest place in Africa to practice journalism. Twelve journalists were murdered for their work in the country in 2012, with none of the killings resolved, according to CPJ research. Somalia ranks second-worst on CPJ’s 2012 Impunity Index, which spotlights countries where journalists are murdered regularly and killers go free.
- For more data and analysis, visit CPJ’s Somalia page here.