Somali Islamists storm broadcaster

Al-Shabaab has ties with Qaeda and hopes to create Islamist state in Somalia.

Nairobi: Fighters with Somalia`s Islamist Al-Shabaab militia stormed the headquarters of radio and TV broadcaster in the capital Mogadishu over the weekend, reported the online portal on Sunday.

The rebels, who are working to overthrow a weak, Western-backed government, confiscated technical materials from the Horn Afrik broadcaster and destroyed audio tapes and cassettes.

Separately, fighters with the Hizbul Islam militia occupied the building of the GBC broadcaster over the weekend.

The militias have repeatedly threatened journalists and forbidden music programmes. Horn Afrika had stuck to the ban on music. The rebels themselves run multiple propaganda broadcasters in the large parts of Somalia they control.

The Western-backed government of Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed only controls a few districts of Mogadishu.

Nine journalists were killed last year in Somalia, while many others were injured in targeted attacks. Two have died so far this year, while many others have been the targets of threats.

Al-Shabaab has ties to the international al Qaeda network and hopes to create an Islamist state in Somalia. Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991.


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