New York, February 4, 2009--The director of HornAfrik, one of Somalia's leading radio and television stations, was killed by three masked gunmen in the Bakara Market area of Mogadishu on Tuesday afternoon, local journalists told CPJ. The assailants shot Said Tahlil repeatedly as he and six other senior journalists were walking to a meeting with members of the militant Al-Shabaab group.
"We send our deepest condolences to Said Tahlil's family and colleagues at HornAfrik," said CPJ's
Tahlil had been
summoned to a meeting with the Al-Shabaab militia group along with the directors
and senior editors of several media houses, journalists in
Local journalists told CPJ that Al-Shabaab had disapproved of local media coverage of the recent Somali presidential elections. Al-Shabaab, among other groups, challenged the legitimacy of the election and did not take part. A spokesman for Al-Shabaab told CPJ today that his group was not behind Tuesday's murder and said it had asked journalists to help them identify the attackers.
Tahlil, believed to be in his early 50s, was appointed director of HornAfrik
after its founder, Ali
Sharmarke, was killed in a roadside bomb attack in
HornAfrik went off the air on Tuesday; it has not announced when
it will resume broadcasting. Other stations in
is the second Somali journalist killed this year and the fourth HornAfrik
journalist killed since 2007. On January 1, Radio Shabelle journalist Hassan
Mayow was shot dead in Afgoye, a town just outside of