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Journalist killed in Somalia

June 21, 2014

A 27-year-old Somali journalist has been killed by a car explosion in Mogadishu. Yusuf Ahmed Abukar was driving through the capital's Hamarweyne district on his way to work when the bomb went off.

Somalia: Death of Yusuf Keynan
Image: Reuters

Police said they believed the bomb, which was attached to the journalist‘s car, was remotely detonated. Abukar, a prominent journalist who also used the name Yusuf Keynan, had worked with the private Mogadishu FM station Mustaqbal and also contributed to the Kenya-based UN humanitarian radio Ergo.

"It is a very shocking tragedy," the journalist Abdifatah Halane told the German news agency DPA.

Abukar had become known for criticizing both the Somali government and the Islamist militant group al-Shabab, which has recently launched attacks against the parliament in Mogadishu and abroad in Kenya. In 2013, Abukar won the UN-sponsored Somali Media Awards.

"We condemn the heinous murder of our colleague and call for prompt investigations into the case," National Union of Somali Journalists secretary-general Mohamed Ibrahim said.

Global media watchdog groups consider Somalia one of the most dangerous places in the world to work as a journalist. In 2012, 18 journalists died in the line of duty, followed by seven more in 2013; counting Abukar, two have died this year.

So far, no group has claimed responsibility for killing Abukar.

mkg/rc (AFP, dpa)