Journalist beheaded in Khartoum

Khartoum - The decapitated body of the kidnapped editor-in-chief of a pro-Islamist newspaper was found in the capital Khartoum on Wednesday, security sources said.

Mohammed Taha Mohammed Ahmed, chief editor of the daily Al-Wifaq, was abducted by armed men on Tuesday evening from his home in north Khartoum, the sources said.

Khartoum police chief Major General Mohamed Naguib al-Tayeb said a number of suspects had been arrested.

An investigation has been launched to determine a motive and the identities of his killers, the security sources said.

Ahmed, considered to be close to the Muslim Brotherhood, had strained relations with the government of President Omar al-Beshir, who came to power with the backing of Islamists.

He escaped an assassination attempt in 2000 after writing an article hostile to the ruling National Congress Party.

The journalist was arrested last year after being accused of writing an article on the family of the Prophet Mohammed, and publication of his newspaper was suspended by the authorities.

In his defence, Ahmed said it had been a misunderstanding and he was released, despite street demonstrations and radical Islamist groups demanding he be put to death.

Ahmed had also angered rebels in Darfur after articles harshly criticising them were published in his newspaper. - Sapa-AFP

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