The director of a top Somali media network, Horn Afrik, has been shot and killed.

Witnesses say Sa'id Tahil Ahmed was gunned down Wednesday while walking in Mogadishu's Bakara market.

Journalists at the scene say Ahmed was one of several media representatives who had been called to a meeting with leaders of the insurgent group al-Shabab.

One of the reporters tells VOA Somali service that gunmen suddenly opened fire on Ahmed, killing him on the spot. 

He says al-Shabab had been angered by Horn Afrik's extensive coverage of the new Somali government, led by moderate Islamist leader Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed.

Al-Shabab rejects the peace deal that led to the government's formation, and has promised to continue pushing for an Islamic state.

Horn Afrik, a VOA affiliate, runs two radio stations and a television station.  Like other media outlets in Somalia, the network has been attacked and shut down at various times by insurgents or government officials.

The network's chairman was killed by a roadside bomb in Mogadishu in 2007.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.