Unidentified gunmen shot dead a well-known comedian and radio drama performer in the Somali capital Mogadishu, officials and colleagues said on Wednesday.
Abdi Jeylani Malaq Marshale was killed late on Tuesday night, minutes after leaving Kulmiye radio station, where he worked as a drama producer and performer.
"Two men shot and seriously injured Marshale...the comedian was later pronounced dead," said police lieutenant Mohamed Gaal, adding that "unfortunately the assailants escaped."
The shooting of Marshale, who also worked for the London-based Universal TV station, is the latest in a string of apparently targeted killings against workers in the media.
Colleagues mourned the loss of a man they called a "leader" of the war-torn nation's comedy scene.
"He had not done anything wrong to anybody, as far as we are concerned, but they shot him in the head and shoulders," said Yusuf Keynan, a presenter at Kulmiye radio.
"This is a black day for the entire entertainment industry, he was a leader in Somalia comedy and everybody liked his performance."
Mohammed Ibrahim, secretary general of National Union of Somalia Journalists, condemned the attack and murder of Marshaale. “We believe that this is part of the deadly campaign against the basic human right of freedom of expression.”
“Marshaale, a satirist, was killed for exercising his freedom to speak his mind, which includes the freedom to use humour,” he added.
In his television programmes, Marshaale criticised Al-Shabaab forces for recruiting children as soldiers and for killing intellectuals. He also targeted, sometimes indirectly, armed militias who commit violence in the country as well as the personalities of some politicians.
So far this year, at least one Somali journalist has been targeted and killed each month.
Source: DCMF, AFP