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Global press watchdog condemns killings of journalist in Somalia
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08:51, August 25, 2007

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A global press rights watchdog on Friday condemned the shooting of a Somali radio journalist, the seventh killing this year as wave of violence in the Horn of Africa nation continues.

Abdulkadir Mahad Moallim Kaskey, the regional correspondent of Radio Banadir in the southwestern province of Gedo, died after unknown gunmen opened fire on the minibus that he was riding in on Friday morning in the village of El Ilan.

Another passenger was wounded in the attack.

In a statement the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) reiterated calls for international action over the crisis in Somalia where reporters have become prime targets in spreading violence.

"This latest killing confirms our fears that journalism has become more dangerous than ever in Somalia," said IFJ General Secretary Aidan White.

"The deteriorating political crisis and increasing levels of violence make independent reporting almost impossible. International organizations need to think hard about action now to calm the situation."

Kaskey's incident is the third media death in two weeks in southern Somalia and the seventh journalist killed this year, says the IFJ.

"Deadly attacks on journalists and violations of press freedom are increasing day by day," said Omar Faruk Osman, Secretary General of the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ).

"It's time for the international community to investigate this crisis and do more to protect media staff."

The IFJ backed the NUSOL's call for the UN and other bodies to act over the violence against media staff. The IFJ itself is planning a campaign to highlight attacks on press in Somalia.

"We need to do more to improve levels of safety for journalists and we need action to bring those responsible for this wave of violence to justice," said White.

"The scandal of impunity in the killing of journalists must be brought to an end," he added.

Both local and foreign journalists have been killed in the war- ravaged nation which has been under fierce fighting between the Ethiopian-backed transitional government and insurgents.

Source: Xinhua

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