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Molotov cocktail attack on daily leaves offices in flames

(RSF/IFEX) - RSF has expressed outrage over a 12 June 2005 attack on the head office of the "Frontera" daily in Merida, which left the front entrance of the offices in flames.

"Whatever opposition or disapproval an article may provoke, it is not a reason, and even less an excuse, to ransack a media outlet. We vigorously protest this brutal and cowardly attack against the press and expect the perpetrators to be found and punished," said RSF.

On the night of 12 June, a group of masked militants threw Molotov cocktails at the "Frontera" offices, causing a fire to break out.

Early investigation results indicate the perpetrators were students from the Universidad Libre de los Andes (ULA), a local university. They were reportedly protesting the paper's publishing of an investigative report into the 10 June killing of one of their fellow students, Albano Briceño. Briceño died after receiving four gunshot wounds.

The "Frontera" article, published the morning of the attack, made reference in particular to Briceño's long police record. According to police, Briceño belonged to an armed far-left group that was well-established around campus. However, the killing does not appear to be politically motivated.

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