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Unknown group claims attack on Sudan newspaper

July 22 - 2014 KHARTOUM

An unknown group, calling itself the Hamza Combat Group Against Atheism and Heresy, has claimed responsibility for the attack on Osman Mirghani, the editor-in-chief of El Tayyar daily newspaper, in Khartoum on Saturday.

The group has vowed to attack anyone who is “openly hostile to the Palestinian resistance”, according to a statement distributed in downtown Khartoum on Sunday. “We will hunt them down, like children hunting sparrows.”

The National Consensus Forces (NCF, a coalition of Sudanese opposition parties) has strongly condemned the attack on El Tayyar’s editor-in-chief and its staff, “by a group of masked men with automatic rifles”.

The coalition called on all Sudanese security and justice institutions to “fulfil their professional role, protect law and justice, and immediately proceed with transparent and fair investigations in order to find the real perpetrators, and bring them to account”.

Osman Mirghani had defended the idea of normalising relations with Israel last week in a Sudanese TV talk show. He had also written a column on the issue in the newspaper. The TV programme was recorded more than three weeks ago, but aired at the time of the Israeli attacks on Gaza.

On Saturday afternoon, a group of masked men stormed the premises of El Tayyar daily newspaper. They assaulted the staff, and beat the editor-in-chief with the butts of their Kalashnikovs, iron bars, and batons until he fell unconscious. Mirghani was transferred to a hospital for treatment.

On Sunday, about 500 journalists went to the streets in “an outrageous protest against the terrorist attack”. The march went from El Tayyar office to the National Council for Press and Publications, where representatives of the Sudanese Journalists Network submitted a memorandum. They demanded freedom of expression, and the arrest of the perpetrators.

File photo: Osman Mirghani hospitalised after the attack, 19 July 2014

Related: Sudan: Editor-in-chief El Tayyar newspaper attacked (20 July 2014)

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