Three unidentified assailants shot Mahad, 20, at around 5 p.m. near his home in Howlwadag village in western Beledweyne, the capital of the central Somali region of Hiran, according to local journalists and news reports.
Mahad, also known as Mahad Jamal, was the editor of Voice of Hiran, a radio station in Hiran, before he began working as a local correspondent for Somalia's largest news outlet, the Shabelle Media Network.
The journalist had reported on a conflict between Al-Shabaab and Ahlu Sunnah Waljama, the pro-government Sufi militia, in the Mahas District of Hiran on the day he was killed, according to Radio Shabelle. Somali forces had seized Beledweyne from Al-Shabaab's control in December 2011, but their control over the town remained fragile, according to news reports.
Witnesses told journalists there were three gunmen at the scene, and Shabelle reported that government forces killed one of them. Some news accounts citing government officials reported that the dead gunman was an Al-Shabaab fighter. The Somali government issued a statement condemning the attack and claimed Al-Shabaab was responsible, but the insurgents did not publicly claim responsibility.
Mahad is survived by a wife and their 2-month-old child.