Somali journalists targeted
Nov 12,2007 00:00 by UPI

MOGADISHU, Somalia - Media watchdog groups said Somalia is second only to Iraq in assassinations of journalists with eight killed this year.

The killings have escalated, especially in Mogadishu, since December when invading Ethiopian troops ousted an Islamic movement and installed a U.S.-backed transitional government, The Washington Post reported Monday.

Islamic fighters and tribal militias continue to fight Ethiopian and Somali government troops, with all sides, it seems, dedicated to silencing perceived dissent, the Post reported.

Mahad Ahmed Elmi, who had a talk show on Horn Afriq, was gunned down near the station in August and Tahlil's boss, Ali Iman Sharmarke, the station's co-owner, was killed by a bomb as he returned from Elmi's funeral. Last month, gunmen killed Bashir Nur Gedi, acting director of the network Radio Shabelle.

Said Tahlil, a journalist with Horn Afriq, said the killings have made him a prisoner at work.

"I don't go anywhere," Tahlil told the Post in a telephone interview. "After they killed my boss and my friend, I am scared of everything."

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