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Somali forces ransack radio station

  • Story Highlights
  • Government forces in Somalia raid prominent independent radio station
  • Soldiers whisked away director and ransacked equipment, station said
  • Radio station targeted by soldiers in past for reporting on armed conflict
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(CNN) -- Government forces in Somalia raided a prominent independent radio station Sunday, whisking away its director and ransacking its equipment, the station reported on its Web site.

Government officials told CNN Sunday that they were not aware of the raid at Shabelle Radio.

But, added spokesman Abdi Gobdon: "When the President was in (the city of) Baidoa, Shabelle was broadcasting false news about him going to Ethiopia. Those are lies. So it is possible that the security forces have followed them."

A statement posted on Radio Shabelle's Web site said soldiers forced their way into the studios and led Director Mukhtar Mohamed Hiraabe away at gun point.

The radio station has been targeted, and shuttered, by soldiers in the past for reporting on the armed conflict in the country.

Last October, gunmen shot and killed the acting manager of Radio Shabelle at his home in Mogadishu.

In recent months, Somali journalists have come under attack from all political groups in the war-torn country -- from the U.N. backed transitional government as well as Islamist insurgents who have been battling government and Ethiopian troops in Mogadishu and elsewhere since they were ousted from power in December 2006.

The Islamists had seized power from U.S.-backed warlords in mid-2006. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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