Malaysia mourns TV journalist killed in Somalia

AP News
Posted: Sep 04, 2011 12:13 AM
Malaysia mourns TV journalist killed in Somalia

A Malaysian TV journalist fatally shot in Somalia received a hero's funeral Sunday attended by Malaysia's prime minister and hundreds of mourners.

Cameraman Noramfaizul Mohd Nor's body was flown back to Kuala Lumpur in a military aircraft after he was killed in the Somalian capital, Mogadishu, while covering a Malaysian aid agency's humanitarian mission.

Malaysia's foreign ministry says Somalian authorities have pledged to investigate Friday's killing. Some members of the aid mission voiced suspicions that Noramfaizul was shot by African Union troops while traveling in a car.

Prime Minister Najib Razak was among many who prayed over Noramfaizul's coffin, which was draped with the flags of Malaysia and Somalia in a mosque ceremony broadcast live on national television.

The New Straits Times newspaper said Noramfaizul was the first Malaysian journalist killed on duty overseas. The 39-year-old worked for the TV division of Malaysia's national news agency, Bernama.

Najib, who cut short a private visit to Australia to return home for the funeral, told Bernama that the country had "lost a very noble and a truly dedicated Malaysian."

Malaysia's Center for Independent Journalism urged authorities to boost protection and training for journalists sent on assignments to conflict zones. Organizers say Noramfaizul and more than 50 other Malaysians who had been in Somalia for less than a week were not equipped with protective gear.

Aid agencies and journalists have been pouring into Mogadishu to respond to war-ravaged Somalia's widespread famine.

Islamist rebels pulled out from their bases in the capital last month, but said that it was a "tactical retreat" and that they would still carry out operations in the city.