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Gunmen kill journalist in Somalia

By the CNN Wire Staff
January 29, 2012 -- Updated 0257 GMT (1057 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Shabelle Media Network director Hassan Osman Abdi was 29
  • Abdi had done some freelance work for CNN
  • Somalia is the deadliest country in Africa for media personnel

(CNN) -- A leading Somalia journalist was shot outside him home in Mogadishu on Saturday and died on the way to the hospital, according to other journalists.

Hassan Osman Abdi, 29, was the director of Shabelle Media Network, according to the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) and Reporters Without Borders. He had also previously done some freelance work for CNN.

Unknown gunmen opened fire as Abdi arrived at his home in Madina district, striking him in the head and chest, NUSOJ said.

"This is a terrible tragedy, both for Hassan Osman Abdi's family and for the Somali journalist community," said Omar Faruk Osman, secretary general of the NUSOJ.

According to local journalists, Abdi was likely killed because of his role in reporting on politics and corruption cases, NUSOJ reported.

Somalia is the deadliest country in Africa for media personnel, and Mogadishu ranked as one of the world's most-dangerous places for journalists in 2011, according to Reporters Without Borders.

He is the third Shabelle Media Network director to be murdered, following the 2007 death of Bashir Nur Gedi and the 2009 death of Mukhtar Mohamed Hirabe, said the group, which called for a "serious and impartial investigation" into his murder.

Abdi, known as "Hassan Fantastic," was the father of three children, NUSOJ said.

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