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Social Action and independent paper, Port Harcourt, Nigeria, attacked by gunmen

asume | 25.07.2007 15:50 | Ecology | Other Press | Repression | World

Gunmen numbering about 7 today (Wednesday, 25 July 2007) attacked the offices of Social Action in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. The office also hosts National Point, an independent weekly newspaper published by activist journalists, and supported by Social Action. People injured, equipment taken....

At about 11 AM, the gunmen stormed the gate and and moved into the offices with sporadic shooting. Bullets shattered doors and left scars on the walls. Drawers and lockers were ransacked as the gunmen demanded for money and carted away 2 laptop computers and mobile phones belonging to Social Action and National Point volunteer and staff.

Professor Michael Watts of the University of California, Berkeley who was visiting the offices was a major target. He had since visited a Port Harcourt clinic to receive treatment from injury sustained during the attack.

The attackers shot Richard Kenneth, a security guard, in the leg. Richard has been taken to the Medicines Sans Frontiers trauma centre in Port Harcourt where he is receiving treatment for gunshot wounds.

Insecurity in the Niger Delta has escalated after the April, 2007 general elections with politicians of the ruling PDP seemingly unable to control thugs armed to rig the elections. However, in recent weeks, politically sponsored attacks by armed gangs and violent robberies have left dozens killed in the oil city of Port Harcourt, with residents now living in fear.