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Gunmen attack journalist in Somali capital

October 12, 2014

Gunmen shot and seriously wounded a Somali journalist working for a London-based television channel in an attack outside his home in Mogadishu on Sunday, colleagues said.

Abdirisak Jama, Mogadishu bureau chief for Somali Channel Television, received several bullets to the stomach in the attack carried out around noon by unknown assailants.

“The gunmen escaped the scene after shooting the journalist and he was rushed to hospital for medical care,” said his colleague Mohamed Ali. “He is in serious situation,” he added.

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) issued a statement condemning the “barbaric” attack it said aimed to undermine the work of journalists in the troubled east African nation, calling for a swift investigation.

Somalia is one of the most dangerous countries for reporters to operate, with at least two killed there so far this year.

Last year at least seven journalists were killed in Somalia according to media watchdog Reporters Without Borders, and 18 were killed in 2012, the deadliest year on record.

Attacks on journalists are often blamed on Islamist Shebab fighters battling the internationally backed government, but some are also believed to be linked to score-settling within the multiple factions in power.

Dispatches from AFP concerning freedom of information, censorship and news coverage in regions where independent media is under threat.