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Mogadishu Broadcasters Go Silent to Protest Government Crackdown

Broadcasters in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, have gone off the air for 24 hours to protest a government crackdown on independent media.

The four local radio stations still operating went silent Monday. Their directors say they want to show solidarity with three other stations the government shut down last week.

Authorities have accused Radio Simba, Radio Banadir and Radio Shabelle of making inflammatory and anti-government broadcasts. The government has also ordered all Somali media houses to register with the government or face closure.

Media advocacy groups like Reporters Without Borders have strongly criticized the moves, saying the government is trying to censor unwelcome news.

The closed stations have reported regularly on the violence in Mogadishu between insurgents and Ethiopian troops backing the Somali interim government.

The fighting over the past 11 months has killed thousands, and prompted hundreds of thousands more to flee the Somali capital.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.