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Murder of Somali radio journalist latest in series of attacks in Baidoa

IFEX members are decrying the murder of a radio journalist in the south-central city of Baidoa, in Somalia. At around 1:00am on 30 April 2015, Daud Ali Omar and his wife, Hawo Abdi Aden, were shot dead by unidentified assailants while they were sleeping in their home, according to news reports and local journalists.

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) states that the bullets also killed another man who was sleeping in a neighbouring home.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) cites reports that the gunmen fled the scene before the police arrived.

Daud Ali Omar worked for the privately-owned, pro-government Radio Baidoa. According to local journalists contacted by CPJ, Radio Baido covers regional violence and local politics.

NUSOJ is outraged by the attack, and calls on authorities to bring the perpetrators of the attack to justice. "We know that journalism work in Somalia is a highly dangerous profession which can be proven with this murder in Baidoa. But we continue to demand an end to threats to press freedom and an end to impunity for violence against media professionals," they said in a statement.

CPJ has also denounced the murder. "We condemn the murders of Daud Ali Omar and his wife, Hawo Abdi Aden, and call on the south-central administration of Somalia to do their utmost to investigate the terrible crime," said CPJ East Africa Representative Tom Rhodes in a statement. "Allowing the killers to remain at large will only add to the cycle of impunity and increasing violence we are witnessing in Baidoa."

The murder of Daud Ali Omar and his wife are the latest in a series of recent attacks in Baidoa, notes CPJ. In the past several months, at least three moderate Islamic scholars have been killed by gunmen suspected of being affiliated with Al-Shabaab, news reports said. In December, a car bomb explosion killed cameraman Mohamed Isaq and freelance journalist Abdulkadir Ahmed, CPJ reports.

CPJ research found Somalia to be the deadliest country in Africa for journalists in their latest report.

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