Somali Journalist Slain Over Weekend Remembered

A Somali journalist who contributed to news organizations including The Associated Press was remembered Monday as a courageous reporter who became the latest media figure "singled out for attack and assassination."

Nasteex Dahir Farah, 26, was shot several times in the chest Saturday in the southern port city of Kismayo. He bled to death at a hospital, leaving behind a pregnant wife and a 10-month-old son.

"It's a tribute to the dedication and courage of journalists such as Mr. Farah that -- despite the fact that members of the media are frequently targeted, harassed, arrested and killed in Somalia -- he continued his work," said Mark Bowden, the U.N.'s humanitarian coordinator in Nairobi, Kenya. "Sadly, his dedication cost him his life."

Also Monday, a local radio station where Farah had worked aired some of his previous broadcasts, including one in which he took calls from Somalis discussing the country's chronic insecurity.

Farah, who was the vice chairman of the National Union of Somali Journalists, had occasionally contributed news reports, photographs and television footage for the AP since 2006. He also contributed to the British Broadcasting Corp. and The New York Times.

The journalists' union condemned what it termed "the targeted assassination" and said Farah had received anonymous death threats

He was not known to be working on a story on Saturday. There was no immediate word on why he was killed.

Farah was buried Sunday before hundreds of relatives and friends. "All speakers at funeral ceremony called for punishment of the killers," the union said.

"Members of civil society in Somalia -- in particular the media -- have been singled out for attack and assassination. It is with great dismay that I express today, on behalf of the United Nations and its partners working in Somalia, shock and disappointment that another Somali journalist was brutally murdered over the weekend," Bowden said.

Somalia, which has been mired in chaos since 1991, is among the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists. At least nine other journalists have been killed in Somalia since February 2007, according to Amnesty International.