JANUARY 28, 2005
Posted: February 7, 2005

HornAfrik Radio

Two unidentified men threw two grenades at the premises of private radio station HornAfrik in the capital, Mogadishu, at around 10 p.m., according to local press freedom group SOJON. The grenades exploded, but the station confirmed that there were no serious casualties or serious damage to property. It said the attackers fled, and the motive was not known.

HornAfrik is a leading private station that also rebroadcasts international programs from the Voice of America and the BBC.

HornAfrik managing partner Ahmed Abdisalam Adan told CPJ that while no one had claimed responsibility for the attack, the radio station and many observers in Mogadishu blamed local Islamic extremist groups. He said some minority fundamentalist groups had used Friday prayers to condemn HornAfrik as “anti-Islamic” and accuse it of serving “foreign interests.”

Abdisalam said the attack came on the same day that an extremist Islamic group that had taken over the Italian Cemetery in Mogadishu preached to their followers that “anti-islamic” media with “foreign interests” had “fabricated public disapproval to the removal of non-Muslim bones from the Muslim cemetery.” Militia from the city’s Islamic courts took over the cemetery in mid-January, exhumed the human remains of some 700 graves, and dumped them near Mogadishu Airport, according to reports on the BBC Web site.