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Terror continues despite Al-Shabab withdrawal

Although Al-Shabab insurgents announced their withdrawal from the Somali capital, Mogadishu, in August...

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Although Al-Shabab insurgents announced their withdrawal from the Somali

capital, Mogadishu, in August 2011, insecurity in the city has continued, as

evidenced by the targeted killing of a journalist and a bomb blast in the past

week.

Abukar Hassan Kadaf, the director of the private Somaliweyn Radio station, was

"killed in front of his home at around Magrib time [sunset prayer, 3pm

GMT] on 28 February", according to Ahmed Mahamud, a journalist in

Mogadishu.

"Security will not be achieved in government-controlled areas until

those who are responsible for attacks on media workers and activists are held

to account," said Michelle Kagari, deputy director for Amnesty

International's Africa programme.

"Every effort must be made to stop a re-emerging pattern of targeted

killings against civil society actors. This includes conducting thorough

investigations into the murders, ensuring that perpetrators are brought to

justice in fair trials, and re-establishing the rule of law."

Mahamud said the current wave of insecurity in Mogadishu was affecting all

residents.

"On Monday [27 February], five children were killed and 22 injured when

a bomb exploded in the field where they were playing [football] in Wardhigley

district of the capital," Mahamud said.

He said a security official in the area where the children died had been arrested

in connection with the explosion.

Another journalist, who requested anonymity, told IRIN the government had

begun recruiting youths who have reportedly defected from Al-Shabab. "The

idea is they know Al-Shabab so they can be used to defeat them."

However, many of the recent killings, including the bomb blast, have been

blamed on them, he said. "The so-called defectors are the biggest

contributors to the current wave of insecurity."

The journalist said the government had reportedly recruited close to 1,000

such individuals into the National Security Agency (NSA) "and the only

requirement for them to get a job with the NSA is to be former Al-Shabab".

Journalists have become the easiest target, he said. "Senior government

officials are tightly guarded, so the perpetrators are looking for easy

targets. Unfortunately, journalists are easy to get to and they are high

profile. So we fit the bill."

Timeline

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