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Journalist escapes attack on her home by armed men

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders has voiced its concern after armed men burst into the apartment block of Janet Mba, editor of the magazine "The Scroll" in Arepo in Ogun State in south-western Nigeria on 15 January 2009. She escaped the attack because she managed to call the police before they could strike.

The worldwide press freedom organisation recorded at least 10 cases of physical assault and eight cases of threats against journalists in the country in 2008.

Approximately 15 men launched their attack at 2:00 a.m. (local time) on 15 January, getting inside the apartment block where Mba lives, in a journalists' neighbourhood known as "Journalists' Village". After neutralising several neighbours and the watchman, they asked where she lived. Mba managed to call police before they reached her home. A police squad led by the Lagos State police commissioner, Marvel Akpoyibo, was quickly on the spot.

The assailants fled after an exchange of fire with the police and before they could be identified. An investigation has been opened in the hope of discovering the reason for the attack.

"This incident is the latest in a long list of violence, threats and intimidation of all kinds against Nigerian journalists in the past months", Reporters Without Borders said. "We urge the local authorities to handle this case with the utmost rigour and to do everything possible to find those responsible and bring them to trial. It is vital that steps are taken to protect Janet Mba and her family", the organisation added.

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