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Journalists survive bomb attack on Puntland radio station

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) is shocked by the latest violent attack on the media in Puntland [an autonomous region of Somalia] which involved a double bomb strike on a private radio station in Galkayo.

According to the information received from Galkayo, gunmen hurled two hand bombs at Radio Daljir at around 20:00 on 15 October 2013, before speeding off.

“This is an alarming attack...against the media in Puntland. Thankfully no one was hurt, however this could have been so much worse,” Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General said.

The news director, editors and reporters who were preparing for the evening broadcast, and a guard were in the station at the time of the explosion, which destroyed the station's wall and damaged the staff vehicle. No one was injured.

“[The] daily life [of] a journalist in Somalia, especially in Galkayo, [the] second deadliest city for journalists in the country, continues to be a hazardous business, and the Puntland authorities, including the Mudug administration, must do more to develop a safe environment for media practitioners,” said Osman.

This is not the first time that Radio Daljir and its Galkayo Branch were attacked. Galkayo journalists have witnessed violent attacks in the past two years.

NUSOJ believes that people whose interests were threatened due to the radio station's broadcast carried out this attack.

Eyewitness told the union that the perpetrators were riding in sedan with no plate number. NUSOJ demands a full investigation into the attack.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
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    Some local journalists said they suspected the attacks could be linked to the station's past programming, which included broadcasts that encouraged citizens not to join insurgent militia groups such as Al-Shabaab. Radio Daljir staff are planning to improve security around their station's compound by installing security cameras, among other measures, local journalists said.

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