MOGADISHU, Somalia — The list of murdered Somali journalists keeps growing longer, and no one seems able to stop it.

The death of Ahmed Saakin Farah brought the number to 16 Somali journalists killed this year, most in targeted attacks by gunmen who know there is little chance they will be caught or jailed.

Assailants shot Farah, a 25-year- old reporter for the London-based Universal TV, three times in the head about 9 p.m. Tuesday in the northern region of Somaliland.

"It's a shocking murder, and part of the anti-media campaign," Abdullahi Ahmed Nor, a fellow journalist, said Wednesday. "It was a big loss for us, his friends and family."

Somalia has been one of the most dangerous places to operate as a journalist this year. The irony for journalists is that Mogadishu, on the whole, is far safer than it was when the Islamist extremists, al-Shabab, controlled most of the city from 2007-2011. African Union troops forced al-Shabab out in August 2011, leading to less violence and a general revival of business, the arts and sports.

Most of the killings have taken place in Mogadishu, but the latest murder was in Somaliland, possibly a sign the scourge of media deaths is spreading.