Banjul - Authorities in Gambia have arrested two journalists working for the pro-government Daily Observer newspaper, security sources and a colleague said on Tuesday.

Alagie Jobe, the paper's deputy editor, and Assan Sallah, its news editor, were detained by the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).

Jobe was arrested last Friday, while Sallah was arrested on Monday, sources at the NIA said. They would not elaborate on the reasons for the arrests.

“Sallah was picked up at his office on Monday evening by plain-clothes officers who identified themselves as working with the NIA,” a colleague at the Daily Observer told AFP.

The arrests come barely a month after the newspaper's managing director was sacked and reportedly fled to neighbouring Senegal for fear of being arrested on allegations of financial malpractice.

Five other senior staff at the paper are currently on bail after being arrested.

A sliver of land nestled within Senegal with a narrow strip of Atlantic coast, Gambia is ruled by President Yahya Jammeh, who is often pilloried for muzzling journalists, among other rights abuses. - Sapa-AFP