Sheikh Nur Mohamed Abkey

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Three gunmen shot Abkey, a veteran Radio Mogadishu journalist, near his home in the southern Mogadishu district of Wardhigley. Local journalists said Abkey’s body, found in an alleyway, also showed evidence of torture.

Journalists at state-run Radio Mogadishu said they had received phone calls from the Al-Shabaab insurgency claiming responsibility for the murder. Radio Mogadishu journalists believed Abkey was killed simply because of his affiliation with the government-run station.

Abkey, said to be in his early 60s, served as a researcher and staff trainer for the station. He joined the profession in 1988 as a reporter for the former Somali National News Agency and had worked for several media houses in Mogadishu, including HornAfrik Radio, the Somali Television Network, and East Africa Radio, the National Union of Somali Journalists reported.

On March 3, 2016, Hassan Hanafi, a former journalist and affiliate of the militant group Al-Shabaab, was found guilty of involvement in the murder by a military court in Mogadishu. According to news reports, the court sentenced him to death by execution, which in Somalia is usually carried out by firing squad.

Colleagues said he refused to be intimidated by the warring factions in Mogadishu and rebuffed suggestions that he live at the station for security reasons. Abkey was survived by a wife and four children.