Assailants shot Ali in the head near his home in the
north-central town of Galkayo in the semi-autonomous republic of Puntland at
around 9 p.m., local journalists told CPJ. The attack occurred in Galkayo’s
northern district of Is-Raac.
Al-Shabaab insurgents claimed responsibility for the murder
through a broadcast on their station, Radio Andalus, the following evening, and
accused the reporter of being a “spy” for the Puntland government, local
journalists told CPJ.
After working for the community station Radio Galkayo for
three years, Ali had recently quit his position as head of programs to pursue
further education in Uganda, local journalists told CPJ. Ali also contributed
to the local pro-government news website Puntlandi and to a community
radio station that was based in Canada.
Local journalists said Ali was targeted for comments
reported on Radio Galkayo and in Puntlandi. Radio Galkayo is considered
one of the few outspoken critics of the insurgent group Al-Shabaab, which has
fought the Puntland administration since 2007.
An active member of civil society in the Muldug region of
Puntland, Ali wrote a column for the Puntlandi website called “Decide
your future in Muldug” and led a youth group under the same name.