Sun, Jan 17, 2010 - Page 6 News List

Four injured in Somali radio station attacks

AFP , MOGADISHU

Three journalists and a security guard were injured in northern Somalia on Friday, when unknown assailants using hand grenades launched what seemed to be a coordinated attack on three independent radio stations, officials and journalists said.

The attacks occurred in the evening when radio Galkaio, radio Mudug and radio Hobyo, all of them in Galkaio, were attacked minutes from each other, leaving journalists in the region shocked.

The attacks against the three radio stations looked coordinated and were related to one another, with an unidentified number of assailants hurling hand grenades at the stations, wounding four journalists and staff members, Colonel Abdulahi Weli, a Puntland police officer, said by telephone.

“We are investigating the incident because such attacks against the independent radio stations are new to the region,” he said.

Abdulkadir Ali Jumale, a radio journalist who was slightly injured, also confirmed the attack, saying he was shocked by it.

“I was getting out of radio Mudug after having conversation with my friends working there when two heavy explosions, seemingly [from] hand grenades, hit very close to me. The power of the explosion slammed me against the wall, leaving me unconscious for a few minutes,” he said.

“I was in the hospital when I [regained consciousness], and I saw my friend Mohamed Isa with injuries in his arm. A technician and a security guard were injured in the attack, which also targeted two other radio stations,” he said.

“We are really shocked with this attack against the independent media. Every journalist in the region is worried and started to fear for his safety. We don’t know who is targeting us,” said Nuh Muse, another journalist in Garowe, a nearby town.

“This will jeopardize the free flow of information in the region,” he added.

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