(AFP) – Aug 19, 2008
DAKAR (AFP) — Senegalese authorities have opened an investigation into attacks against two private newspapers by unidentified men who ransacked the papers' offices, the interior ministry said Tuesday.
"An investigation was opened by the police to determine the circumstances of the events, who committed them and maybe who ordered them," Marcel Mendy, a spokesman for the interior ministry, said.
The offices of L'As and 24 heures Chrono newspapers were raided on Sunday by a dozen men who used tear gas to chase staff away and destroyed computers, according to the papers and the Committee for the Defence of Journalists.
The media watchdog, set up in June by unions and owners of private publications, said the attackers had arrived in a government vehicle, recognisable by its licence plates.
The incident follows tensions between private press owners and the authorities, sparked by the police beating of two journalists at a football match on June 21.
Journalists are planning a demonstration against government repression of the press in the capital Dakar on Saturday.
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