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JOURNALIST KILLED IN LANDMINE BLAST

A journalist on his way to a press conference was killed by a roadside bomb in southern Somalia, report the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) and other IFEX members.

Hassan Kafi Hared, a correspondent for Somali National News Agency (SONNA), a Somali government run news agency, and the Somali website Gedonet.com, was walking to a press conference in Kismayo when a remote-controlled landmine exploded on a road in the nearby village of Siyad. Two doctors with Medecins Sans Frontières-Holland and their Somali driver also died in the attack when their vehicle was destroyed in the blast.

Hared is also a long-time member of NUSOJ, and was the treasurer of the organisation's southeastern branch.

According to RSF, Kismayo and the surrounding region have mostly been unaffected by the Islamist insurgents in Mogadishu - they are controlled by local clans. But the rebels recently threatened to launch attacks and bombings outside the capital. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reports that since October, six Kismayo-based journalists have fled to Kenya.

Hared's death follows reports that another journalist has been beaten for "biased and provocative" broadcasts, report NUSOJ and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).

On 26 January, Abdihakim Yusuf Moalim, a journalist with the private radio station Somali Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) in Bossasso, Puntland, was covering a meeting between Puntland officials and local communities in Bossasso.

The Deputy Ministry of Security for Puntland, Ibrahim Artan, slapped Moalim in the face and accused him and his radio station for broadcasting "biased and provocative" reports. Moalim was then violently beaten by Artan's security guard and detained for an hour.

Visit these links:
- NUSOJ: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/90297/
- NUSOJ on Moalim: http://tinyurl.com/2u7cuq
- CPJ: http://tinyurl.com/2l37ph
- IFJ: http://www.ifj.org/default.asp?Index=5754&Language=EN
- RSF: http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=25224
(29 January 2008)

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