Somali troops raid three radio stations

Somali forces closed down three radio stations during raids in search of suspected Islamist insurgents on Sunday, the stations' directors said.

Somali troops raid three radio stations

Troops moved against the independent stations a day after a gunfight in Mogadishu's central market between insurgents and government troops backed by Ethiopian forces killed nine people.

Employees of Horn Afrik, Shabelle and Simba radios said troops took computers, cameras and radio equipment.

"Government troops entered the radio station and said we must stop working. They said the radio station is closed from now on," Horn Afrik cameraman Abdi Daqane told Reuters.

"We are deeply sorry that Somali journalists are still under government oppression," he added.

Shabelle radio's news editor, Abdi Ismail Abdi-ud, said the soldiers took two computers and two sound mixing machines. They briefly detained the station's acting director, Mukhtar Mohamed Hirabe.

"They did not say we are closed but we cannot operate ... I believe the government is still showing its heavy-handedness on the free media in Somalia," he said.

"It is silencing us because it does not want the radios to report that soldiers are looting properties in Bakara market."

Simba, another independent station, had to shut down after government troops seized computers and microphones.

"A number of government soldiers penetrated the building of Simba radio, harassing the reporters and taking three computers, three digital cameras and the radio's mixer," Simba Radio deputy director Mohamed shiil Hassan told Reuters.

"They accused us of siding with and reporting the activities of the insurgents," he added.

Reuters

Last Mod: 03 Mart 2008, 10:15
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