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Somali comedian who mocked Islamists shot dead

Abdi Jeylani Malaq, a Somali comedian popular for his parodies of Al-Shabaab, has been shot dead in Somalia.

Al shabaab somalia 2012 02 22Enlarge
Al Shabaab still controls much of southern and central Somalia, but is under increasing pressure from Kenyan forces in the south and Ethiopian forces in the west. (AFP/AFP/Getty Images)

Abdi Jeylani Malaq, a Somali comedian popular for his parodies of Al-Shabaab has been shot dead in Somalia.

Malaq, thought to have been 43, was killed in Mogadishu after leaving Kulmiye radio station where he worked as a performer and a drama producer.

"Two men shot and seriously injured Malaq... the comedian was later pronounced dead," said police lieutenant Mohamed Gaal, AFP reported.

According to the BBC, witnesses said that that Malaq was shot several times in the head and chest by two men armed with pistols. The gunmen have not been caught.

Malaq, who also worked for the London-based Universal TV station, had reported having received multiple death threats. His is a latest in a string of killings against media workers. Seven journalists have been killed in Somalia this year in what appear to be targeted killings, the Associated Press reported.

"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 Somali comedy and everybody liked his performance."

Though African Union troops and the UN-backed government have forced Al Shabaab out of Mogadishu, the Al Qaeda-linked group still frequently stages attacks in the city, and still controls many areas of southern and central Somalia.

The country has been without a functioning national government since 1991, the Guardian reported. 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/120802/somali-comedian-who-mocked-islamists-shot-dead