Somali militants attack radio stations

Sept. 20, 2010 at 11:48 AM
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MOGADISHU, Somalia, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- Islamist militants attacked two independent radio stations in the Somali capital of Mogadishu during the weekend, the embattled government declared.

Militants with the al-Qaida affiliated al-Shabaab stormed the HornAfrik station and Hizbul al-Islam rebels raided the headquarters of the Global Broadcasting Corp, CNN International reports.

The Somali Ministry of Information condemned the attacks in a weekend statement.

"Such acts will destroy the achievements made by Somalia's media during the last decade," said Information Minister Abdirahman Omar Osman. "A free media that can operate without any intimidation and fear from the extremists is vital for the good of the country."

Al-Shabaab seized Radio Holy Koran, a private radio station in Mogadishu, less than a month ago.

The militant group declared war on the African Union peacekeeping force fighting for control in the beleaguered Horn of Africa country. Several peacekeepers and members of the Somali government were killed during September attacks.

Somalia hasn't had a functioning government since 1991 and transitional authorities control only a few blocks of the capital city.

The transition period for the current Somali government ends in August. U.N. and AU leaders warned lawmakers in Somali that there was "no time to waste" in deciding on a viable political course.

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