Puntland TV station stormed & occupied by militia
Mogadishu (Harar24) – The Puntland TV station based in the city of Garowe, the capital of the semi-autonomous Puntland state, is under the control of gunmen since it was taken over today at noontime, according to officials and employees.
Armed men dressed in civilian clothes stormed the TV station earlier today ordering all staff to evacuate and take their personal belongings with them, thereafter declaring that they will now take charge of the station, without specifying the reason for their attack.
“As we were preoccupied in our day-to-day work were interrupted to our astonishment by armed militia who forcefully entered the building.” One of the employees told media outlets. “After we left they took over the building and everything in it, they’re still occupying the building” she added.
The motives of the attack still remain unknown amidst conflicting reports as to why the militia stormed the station. Some reports suggest the militia are affiliated with the former chairman of the TV station, Ahmed Mohamed Ali “Kismayo”, who was sacked yesterday. Other reports claim that militias are angered by the sacking of senior security officials and are in support of them. None of the claims can however be independently verified.
Puntland TV, which is the official TV station of the semi-autonomous Puntland state of Somalia, was launched and began broadcasting mid-last year with Italian funding.