‘Hamza Combat Group does not exist’: editor-in-chief Sudan’s El Tayyar
The editor-in-chief of El Tayyar daily newspaper who was attacked by a group of masked gunmen in his office in Khartoum last Saturday, said that the group claiming responsibility for the assault does not exist.
Osman Mirghani, El Tayyar’s editor-in-chief, told Radio Dabanga on Friday that the group that had attacked him and the newspaper’s staff, was made up of 20 masked men in total. “Because of the use of heavy weapons, the assault must be considered a very serious crime.”
“The group that claimed responsibility for the attack, the so-called Hamza Combat Group against Atheism and Heresy, does not exist. It is an illusionary group, fabricated in an attempt to hide the real ones responsible. We all know which bodies carry arms in Sudan. Apart from batons and iron bars, they carried automatic weapons. The origin of these heavy weapons can be easily identified.”
Mirghani denied that he had called for normalisation of relations with Israel. “The reasons behind the assault are most likely to be found in El Tayyar’s exposure of the widespread corruption within government institutions.”
He said that he had expected the assault, and accused some of his colleague editors at other newspapers of inciting the attack against him, “by creating a climate of hate in the media”.
On Saturday afternoon, a group of masked men in two Land Cruisers stopped in front of the premises of El Tayyar newspaper in downtown Khartoum, and raided the office. They beat the editor-in-chief until he lost consciousness. El Tayyar journalist Abdallah Ishag said that the gunmen told the staff that they were members of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS).
File photo: Front page of El Tayyar, 11 December 2011 (Sudan Tribune)
Sudan: Editor-in-chief El Tayyar newspaper attacked (20 July 2014)
Sudan security confiscates print run El Tayyar (6 July 2014)