Mogadishu: Unidentified gunmen on Friday killed a Somali journalist working with the private Radio Shabelle in the capital Mogadishu, colleagues and witnesses said.

Abdihared Osman Adan, a presenter at the radio was shot several times near his house in Mogadishu’s Wadajir district.

“The gunmen shot him three times in the neck and shoulder. He was seriously injured and taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead,” said a colleague, Mohammad Bashir.

“We don’t know the motives of the killers but it looks to be part of the campaign to eliminate free press in the country,” he added.

“The gunmen got him after he left his house and they shot him with pistols and ran off,” said Mumin Abdirahman, a witness.

Radio Shabelle won a press freedom award in 2010.

Abdihared Osman Adan is the first Somali journalist to be killed in 2013.

Eighteen journalists were killed in Somalia last year of whom four who worked for Radio Shabelle, including the station’s director. No one has been brought to justice for the killings.