Popular Somali comedian gunned down in MogadishuBy ABDULKADIR KHALIF in Mogadishu | Wednesday, August 1 2012 at 11:13
Unknown assailants have killed a top Somali artiste as attacks on professionals in the troubled Horn of Africa country continue.
Mr Absi Jailani Malaq, a very popular comedian who goes by the stage name Marshale, was Tuesday evening shot outside his home in Waberi district of the Somali capital Mogadishu.
Marshale was rushed to Madina hospital but was around 7 p.m. declared dead by surgeons after they tried for an hour to save him.
The shooters, identified by witnesses as two young men armed with pistols, escaped the scene.
"It was just about half an hour before Afur (time to break the fast of a Ramadhan day) when he was assaulted,” said a resident who contacted the media.
"Yes, they were two youths," added another caller in a shaky voice. The witnesses said that crowd-puller Marshale was mainly hit on the head and chest.
The slain comedian was working with a number of broadcasters in Mogadishu including Universal TV and Kulmiye. He was famous for his funny verses and amusing acts.
"We are shocked by what happened to Marshale,” said Mr Ibrahim Mohamed Jakeey, the director of the Mogadishu office of Universal TV, a London-based satellite broadcaster,
"This is another disaster befalling the Somali media and social development [professionals],” Mr Jakeey, who rushed to the hospital, said.
Attacks on journalists, professionals and artistes in the country have risen sharply this year, the most recent being on July 7 when Mr Abdulkadir Omar Abdulle alias Quarrel, a reporter working with Universal TV, was seriously wounded by gunmen.
So far, six journalists have been murdered in Somalia this year, with four killed in Mogadishu alone, according to the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ).
The killing of Marshale is likely to spread fear among other preforming artistes in Mogadishu as the country struggles to increase security following decades of war.
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