Somalia Releases 3 Al-Jazeera Journalists

Somalia's government has released three Al-Jazeera journalists Thursday, two days after they were arrested along with their driver by security forces, the network confirmed.

Hamza Mohamed, a Somali-British journalist for Al-Jazeera's English service, and members of his crew were arrested upon their return from areas held by the Islamic extremists of al-Shabab. Mohamed had been in Somalia for a week on a reporting assignment, Al-Jazeera said in a statement.

The National Union of Somali Journalists welcomed the release of the journalists who were arrested near Somalia's capital Tuesday.

The government earlier arrested and released another journalist, Abdi Aden Guled, the editor of Xog-Ogaal, one of Mogadishu's oldest daily newspapers. Guled was arrested on Sunday and released Wednesday and his newspaper was also closed during that period.

Threats and intimidations against journalists often increase during the elections in Somalia, which is rated as one of the world's most dangerous countries for media workers, according to media groups. Journalists are targeted by both Islamic extremists and the government, say rights groups.

Jefferson Obuseri

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