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Guinea radio station trashed by pro-government mob

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Guinea's police forces prepare to disperse a demonstration in Conakry on May 2, 2013. A radio station in the east of Guinea was ransacked by pro-government demonstrators for reporting on protests against President Alpha Conde, employees told AFP. (AFP/File)

A radio station in the east of Guinea was ransacked by pro-government demonstrators for reporting on protests against President Alpha Conde, employees told AFP on Monday.

Bate FM, in the city of Kankan, was attacked on Sunday by "thugs and supporters of the regime", said journalist Abdouramane Seinkou Kaba, adding that they had destroyed chairs, cables and microphones and taken away a generator, antennae, amplifiers and other equipment.

"They're trying to prevent us from broadcasting," he added.

A presenter told AFP on condition of anonymity that local officials including the district administrator and the regional general secretary of the president's Rally of the Guinean People party were behind the attack.

"It is the political and administrative authorities at the highest level who sponsored the attack, because they wanted to avenge the insult of the youth of Kankan against the president of the republic," he said.

During his first visit to Kankan since his election in 2010, Conde was jeered last week by hundreds of angry youths who accused him of doing nothing for the development of his region of origin.

A senior police officer confirmed the attack on the station, which reported extensively on the visit and the protests.

"Bate FM annoys people, it is true, but it is the best radio station, very widely listened to in Kankan," he said.

The station's director, Moussa Diawara, is wanted by security forces for "destabilisation" and has fled to neighbouring Mali.