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Somalia: Grenade Attack on Radio Galkayo in Puntland

Arbaco 19 October 2011 SMC


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Unknown assailants attacked with hand grenade at Radio Galkayo station in the city of Galkayo in the self autonomous state of Puntland of Somalia on Tuesday evening around 06:50PM local time.

The attackers threw a bomb from back fence of the station and damaged the back wall and windows of the office of the station's director. No human casualties were reported. The reason of the attack is not yet stated or investigated.
"We don't know why we are attacked and we do not know who did the attack", said Abdullahi Hersi Adde, the managing director of Radio Galkayo who spoke to NUSOJ. "We have been lucky that nobody was harmed in the attack and all the staff are fine now. But we are in fear now, we are very much worried about our safety", lameted the director Mr. Adde

"We condemn the attack of the radio station and we call the authorities of the region to fully investigate the event and at a sametime to protect the journalists and the station facilities", said Burhaan Daahir, NUSOJ president.
"Media houses and their journalists have every right to be protected to discharge professional duties without fear of intimidation, bombing, killing or any other kind of interference. Safety and security of the media and their staff is endangered as a result of fulfilling their legitimate duties and they shall be sufficiently protected by the authorities",' insisted Burhan Ahmed Dahir, NUSOJ President.

This is the second time that similar attack was targeted on this radio station. On 15th January 2010 unidentified assailants lobbed grenades at Radio Galkayo, the attack that damaged one studio and the roofs of the building. Similar grenade attacks were also targetted on two other stations in the city on the same night. Three journalists slightly wounded in the attack.

Meanwhile, Mohammed Ibrahim, NUSOJ Secretary General, called the number of growing attacks in Somalia a serious threat to the press freedom. "These attacks were brutal acts of terrorism. Such attacks against the media only increased sense of insecurity. We are extremely worried," said Mohammed Ibrahim, NUSOJ Secretary General.

"Journalists are working in one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist and deserve to be given safe space to work, but not to be killed. We call on the Puntland government to bring the assailants to justice." Mr. Ibrahim added.

This terror attack of media house is the latest episode in a continuing wave of attacks on journlaists and media houses, which are concerted efforts to restrain the freedom of the media.

Early this month, Abdiaziz Ahmed Aden, 22 for Radio Markabley was killed, while Abdulkadir Mohyadin, a camera man for the Somali National Television (SNTV) and Ali Hassan known as Ali Hiiraan who works for the Universal Television received wounds to one hand each hit by a flying shrapnel, after suicide truck bomber blew himself up at the gate of a government compound which houses more than 4 government ministeries at the busy KM4 junction in Mogadishu, killing more than 70 people, according to the government and wounding more than 100, mainly students checking their exam results. The students were hopping scholarships to Turkey and Sudan.

On August, 2011, similar attack occured when unknown assailants threw a bomb at Radio Daljir station in Galkayo on slightly wounding the guard of the radio station.

Journalists Horriyo Abdulkadir Sheik Ali of Radio Galkayo and Hassan Mohamed Ali of Radio Codka Nabdda (Voice of Peace) were severely injured in seperate gun attacks on 14th and 22nd September 2011in Galkayo and Bosaso cities of Puntland respectively.

FOR  FULL STORY: http://www.nusoj.org.so/alerts/Oct2011/Grenade_attack_on_Radio_Galkacyo_in_Puntland.htm

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The National Union of Somali Journalists is member of Somali Human Rights Defenders Network (SOHRIDEN), the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Network (EHAHRD-Net) and the African Democracy Forum (ADF)

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For further information, contact:
National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ)
Human Rights House, Taleex Street, KM4 Area, Hodan District,
Mogadishu, Somalia, Tel: +252 1 859 944,
e-mail: nusoj@nusoj.org.so / newsletter@nusoj.org.so
Internet: http://www.nusoj.org.so

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