Radio Dabanga (Hilversum)

3 August 2014

Sudan: Hamza Group to Target Sudan Security Officers, Pro-Shiite Figures

Khartoum — The "Hamza Combat Group against Atheism and Heresy" will not only continue to target journalists, but also members of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS).

In a statement released on Saturday, of which Radio Dabanga obtained a copy, the extremist Islamist group said that they will pursue in particular three NISS officers, whose names they did not mention, "specialised in targeting Jihadist groups".

The officers had arrested the extremists who had killed an USAID employee on 31 December 2008 in Khartoum. The same officers had tracked members of an extremist cell in 2012. The Hamza Group threatened they will target all NISS officers, if the Sudanese authorities would arrest their members.

According to the statement, the Group also stated that it has issued a verdict against Janjaweed leader Musa Hilal.

Apart from these targets, the Islamists group threatened to pursue the well-known, but controversial Sheikh El Nil Abu Guroun, said to be a Shiite, and journalists Salah Awouda and Mohamed El Tijani, whom the group accused of proliferating Shiism in the country.

The Shia is the second largest denomination in Islam, after the Sunni denomination. Shia Muslims constitute 38% of the Middle East population.

The Hamza group claimed responsibility for the attack on Osman Mirghani, the editor-in-chief of El Tayyar daily newspaper, in Khartoum on 19 July. Mirghani had defended the idea of normalising relations with Israel last week in a Sudanese TV talk show.

The Group vowed to attack anyone who is "openly hostile to the Palestinian resistance", according to a statement distributed in downtown Khartoum on 20 July. "We will hunt them down, like children hunting sparrows."

Osman Mirghani said that he does not believe that the Hamza Group exists. "It is an "illusionary group, fabricated in an attempt to hide the real ones responsible. We all know which bodies carry arms in Sudan. Apart from batons and iron bars, the assailants carried automatic weapons. The origin of these heavy weapons can be easily identified".

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