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Somali journalist who was abducted at gunpoint is found alive

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- A Somali journalist who was abducted Saturday at gunpoint was found alive on Sunday but tortured by his kidnappers.

Hanad Ali Guled who is working for an independent Goobjoog radio and television station said he escaped from his abductors after the vehicle they were traveling in developed problems as they tried to move him from one place to another.

Guled was found on a farm near Afgoye town, about 30km south of Mogadishu, shackled. He was later taken to police station in Afgoye for interrogation before being released.

The media group’s director Hassan Mohamud in a statement released on Sunday called for a thorough investigations into the abduction.

“The circumstances surrounding his kidnap still remain unknown to us and procedurally it is the work of security agencies and relevant government institutions to carry out investigations and ensure not only the safety of Guled but also journalists in general in Somalia,” the Mohamud said.

The journalist was reportedly driven to unspecified place on Saturday and detained in a small room. Attempts by members of his family and fellow colleagues to establish his whereabouts remained futile.

Guled whose colleagues at the station said he has been receiving threats over drought relief programme said his legs were tightly chained while in captivity.

Somalia remains one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists with dozens having been killed, maimed or forced to leave the country.

The Committee to Protect Journalists says 26 journalists have been killed in Somalia from 2012 to date.



Landmine explosion kills two young children in southern Somalia

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- At least two people were killed in a landmine explosion in southern Somalia on Saturday evening, a government official said Sunday.

Information Minister for Hirshabelle State Mahad Hassan told Xinhua by phone that the blast at an area near Mahaday district in Middle Shabelle region left two siblings dead.

“The two siblings, a boy and a girl, were killed in the landmine explosion.

“They were on auto-rickshaw,” Hassan said.

After the incident, the Somali National Army (SNA) and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) successfully defused two other bombs at the scene.

He added that the SNA and AMISOM have launched a massive security operation in the area to capture those behind the explosion.

Hassan said Al-Shabaab militants were probably responsible for the blast.

There was no immediate comment from Al-Shabaab, which is part of the al-Qaida allied terror network.



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