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Somalia: Govt Soldiers Storm Shabelle Radio for the Second Time Today

Heavily armed government soldiers stormed the center of the Shabelle Media Network, a local radio based in Mogadishu for the second time today alone, arresting one of the Radio's security staff. The soldiers have entered the radio station claiming that they are going to search weapons. They seemed to occupy the station, ordering all the staff and the administration of the Shabelle radio to go out.

Somali police men ordering the people to hand up near second Street Of Bakaraha Market in Somali capital on Friday. Some of the soldiers intruded the live studio of the radio as the 4:00pm news program was on air. "When I got out of the live studio and wanted to enter the recording studio, I faced two soldiers pointing at me their guns open, one of themshouted 'raise your hands' as I was criminal, I really shocked and I was not expecting that soldiers may simply enter a live studio," said Jamal Ahmed Osman, the afternoon program producer.

When the soldiers went into the studio, they threatened news caster Abdinor Mohamed Kadiye who was at that time in live broadcasting. "I was near to die when one of them tried to kill me when I told them that I had no weapons and in a live broadcasting but fortunately one of the soldiers held the gun with the one who wanted to kill me," said Kediye.

Also Abdirashid Ahmed Rashka, among the Shabelle journalists was threatened to be arrested. "I got very shocked and covered all my body with sweat when red eyes, unkindly soldier chewing khat on his right cheek intimidated me that I will be arrested if a single pistol found in the station," said Ahmed who was very frightened. Fartun Ahmed Hassan, the radio's cashier was also very terrified when the soldiers entered her office ordering her to leave there.

"They came and ordered me to give them the key of the treasure, and they also dispersed some of the radio's costumers waiting for service, I really became very dazed when one of them pointed at me his gun saying he will kill me if a gun found in the office," said Fartun.

"I have narrowly survived automatic gunshots fired at me by the Somali troops. I went to buy dinner and I was coming back to my work when suddenly the troops fired at me. The bullets hit two beverages of Coca-cola bottles in my paper-bag. I survived," said Shabelle webmaster, Babul Nor.

The Shabelle management condemned the move by the government soldiers which they stormed the radio station as irresponsible and beyond the international law.

(Shabelle Media Network (Mogadishu), 6 July 2007)

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