Somali journalist shot dead in Mogadishu

MOGADISHU Wed May 5, 2010 1:39pm IST

MOGADISHU May 5 (Reuters) - Islamist gunmen have shot dead a prominent journalist in Mogadishu, the first reporter to be killed in Somalia this year, one of his colleagues said on Wednesday.

Sheikh Nur Abkey, who worked for the state-run Radio Mogadishu, was killed in the capital's Wardhigley neighbourhood while he was on his way home late on Tuesday.

"Al Shabaab men have killed Sheikh Nur Abkey ... after they killed him, they called us and told us they killed him," Abdirahman Yusuf, the editor of Radio Mogadishu, told Reuters.

The capital has been a battleground as the UN-backed government has tried to quell a three-year insurgency waged by Islamist groups, including al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab.

Yusuf said Abkey was in his sixties and had been working in Somali media circles since 1988.

Somalia is one of the world's most dangerous countries for journalists. Last year nine were killed and some foreign journalists have been kidnapped by militants and held for ransom. (Reporting by Ibrahim Mohamed; Writing by Abdi Guled; Editing by Jeremy Clarke and Giles Elgood)

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