Gunmen have shot dead a journalist in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland, the third killed in Somalia this year, police and the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) said.

Radio journalist Abdirisak Ali Abdi, who worked for Radio Daljir, was killed in the Puntland town of Galkacyo, in the Mudug region on Tuesday, police said.

"The assailants have escaped after the shooting but the police are still in pursuit of the perpetrators," said Hashi Dhaqane, a police official in the town.

The NUSOJ also said in a statement that he was shot "in cold blood" and said three other reporters had been wounded in the capital Mogadishu in the last two months.

Abdi, who was 25 and married with two sons, also worked for a London-based television station, the union added.

It was not clear what motivated the attack, but journalists have often been targeted since Somalia's descent into conflict in the early 1990s.

Some attacks have been prompted by reports on corruption or clan fighting, and some due to coverage of the strict implementation of Islamic law.

Source: Agencies