On one of his recent radio shows, a popular Somali comedian ridiculed commanders of a ruthless Islamist insurgent group that is notorious for forcibly recruiting boys into its ranks and making them fight.

“Hey young boys, you can’t move back from the enemy shelling … instead just stay there and fight,” the comedian said, taking the role of an al-Shabab commander speaking by phone to his youthful troops from an oceanside spot, far from the front lines.

Such ribbing may have cost comedian Abdi Jeylani Malaq his life. On Tuesday, the 43-year-old Malaq was shot dead near his home in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, by two young men suspected of belonging to al-Shabab, a group that pledges fealty to al-Qaida.

The targeted killing sparked calls for investigations into his death.

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