MOGADISHU, Somallia (AP):
The list of murdered Somali journalists keeps growing longer, and no one seems able to stop it.
The death of Ahmed Saakin Farah brought the number to 16 Somali journalists killed this year, most in targeted attacks by gunmen who know there is little chance they will be caught or jailed.
Assailants shot Farah, a 25-year-old reporter for the London-based Universal TV, three times in the head around 9 p.m. Tuesday, in the northern region of Somaliland.
"It's a shocking murder, and part of the anti-media campaign," Abdullahi Ahmed Nor, a fellow journalist, said yesterday. "It was a big loss for us, his friends and family."
Somalia has been one of the most dangerous places to operate as a journalist this year. The irony for journalists is that Mogadishu, on the whole, is far safer than it was when the Islamist extremists, al-Shabab, controlled most of the city from 2007-2011. African Union troops forced al-Shabab out in August 2011, leading to less violence and a general revival of business, the arts and sports.
But a campaign targeting journalists has accelerated this year, and one sad fact seems likely to be fueling the murders: No suspects have been arrested for any of the crimes. Most of the killings have taken place in Mogadishu, but the latest murder, in the northern, semi-independent territory of Somaliland, could be a sign that the scourge of media deaths is spreading.