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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 February, 2005, 22:49 GMT
BBC producer shot dead in Somalia
Kate Peyton
It is believed Ms Peyton was shot outside a hotel
A BBC producer has died after being shot while making a series of reports in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

Kate Peyton, 39, and reporter Peter Greste had just arrived in the capital Mogadishu when she was hit. Mr Greste was not injured.

Ms Peyton was taken to hospital, where she had an operation on a bullet wound to her back, but died later of internal bleeding, the BBC said.

Head of BBC News Helen Boaden said she would be "greatly missed".

I am profoundly shocked and saddened by the news
Mark Thompson,
BBC director general

"Kate was one of our most experienced and respected Foreign Affairs producers who had worked all over Africa and all over the world.

"She will be greatly missed, both professionally and personally.

"We are in touch with the family and are doing everything we can to support them at this terrible time."

'Shock'

BBC director general Mark Thompson said he was "profoundly shocked and saddened" by Ms Peyton's death.

"Kate had worked for the BBC since 1993 and was dedicated to covering news across the African continent."

The Foreign Office has also paid tribute to Ms Peyton.

"She had travelled with the foreign secretary abroad and was well known to our media staff wherever she went," it said in a statement.

A spokesman for Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed said Ms Peyton's death was "extremely shocking and extremely tragic", the Associated Press reported.

Yusuf Ismail spoke to the news agency from Kenya where the exiled government is currently based.

'Cowardly act'

Details about the incident were still unclear, but the BBC said it was believed to have happened outside the Sahafi Hotel.

She was the kindest, gentlest human being to work with and to have as a friend
Fergal Keane,
BBC correspondent

Ms Peyton, who grew up in Suffolk, had spent the past 10 years in Africa and was based in Johannesburg. She had worked for the BBC as a producer and reporter since 1993.

She also worked as a producer and trainer for the South African Broadcasting Corporation in Johannesburg.

Her friend and colleague BBC correspondent Fergal Keane said Ms Peyton was "the kindest, gentlest human being to work with and to have as a friend and I will always treasure her laughter and stories".

"She devoted a large part of her life in trying to telling the truth about Africa," he added.

Investigation call

The National Union of Journalists, of which Ms Peyton was a member, condemned the killing and called for a "full investigation" into the circumstances.

General secretary Jeremy Dear said: "This dreadful shooting, coming just after the announcement that more journalists were killed last year than in any year before, reminds us just how dangerous reporting has become."

He said one reason for the rising death toll was because "the killers are rarely pursued and brought to justice".

"We will ask the UK government to press the UN as well as the Somali authorities to pursue these killers," he said.




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
BBC colleagues pay tribute to Kate Peyton



SEE ALSO:
Country profile: Somalia
03 Dec 04 |  Country profiles



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