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"At 5pm local time (1400 GMT) unknown gunmen shot and killed Mahad Salad in the Howlwadaag neighborhood in Beledweyne. He was a well-known journalist in the region, as he was the editor of Hiiraan Radio," said Mohamed Abdi in Beledweyne.
Residents in the area told Somalia Report that three murderers escaped the scene before the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) security forces arrived. TFG officials have claimed that they shot and killed one of the murderers later.
“Unknown gunmen killed the journalist while he was moving near his house on Shiigaalow street in the village of Laanta-Israac, Beledweyne. They shot by pistols and ran away from the place, then TFG troops arrived,” Abdulkadir Mussa, a resident of Beledweyne told Somalia Report.
Mahad also reported for Shabelle Media in Beledweyne. Other reports say that the killers had send death threats and phone calls in recent days.
Mahad Salad used to work for Voice of Hiraan radio in Beledweyne, but he was reporting for Mogadishu-based Radio Shabelle over the last three months, according to his colleagues.
"The journalist sent his last report on military trends and the war between al-Shabaab and the allied forces in this region to our station," Qaali Ahmed, a Shabelle journalist, told Somalia Report. "Some of his reports may have been seen as critical of al-Shabaab, because as you know, their group has been losing major cities in the region."
The late journalist started in working for Shabelle Radio after al-Shabaab was evicted from Beledweyne by TFG and Ethiopian forces.
No group has yet claimed responsibly for the shooting.
TFG officials in Beledweyne said that they have killed the murderer of Mahad Salad Adan.
“Our Security forces shot and killed the murderer of journalist Mahad, after he tried to escape, and soon will show the media his body," Hassan, a TFG official in Beledweyne, told Somalia Report. Eyewitnesses claimed there were three gunmen, which would mean that two of Mahad's murderers remain on the loose.
He will be the fourth journalist attacked in Somalia this year. Most recently, Radio Galkayo's Ali Ahmed Abdi was shot in Galkayo on March 2nd, and on February 28th, former Somaliweyn director Abukar Hassan Kadaf was killed near his home in Mogadishu.