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Algerian journalists to continue covering Africa Cup of Nations despite knife attack

The Africa Cup of Nations trophy. Picture: Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters

The Africa Cup of Nations trophy. Picture: Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters

Published Jan 11, 2022

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Johannesburg - Despite being attacked, stabbed and robbed just outside their hotel on Sunday, two Algerian journalists are determined to keep on covering the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Cameroon.

The two journalists were attacked with knives and robbed on Sunday just as they exited their hotel in Bonapriso area in Douala. Three phones and a passport were stolen off the reporters who work for an Algerian football website.

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Smail Mohamed Amokrane sustained deep wounds in his back, while the other Mehdi Dahak sustained lacerations to his face.

"He wants to continue the tournament," Dahak, who will also stay on, told BBC Sport Africa.

"He has two deep wounds from the stab wounds. The guy was touched by the knife in the back. He was sewn up in hospital. He is resting. They attacked us 10 metres from the hotel.”

The Confederation of African Football (Caf) on Monday said: “Caf is aware of an alleged incident involving three Algerian journalists in Douala, Cameroon on Sunday night, 09 January 2022.

“Caf is liaising with local government authorities to understand the details of the incident as this is now a Police investigation.

“We are also reaching out to the three journalists and wishes them speedy recovery.For now, we will await a detailed report of what transpired.”

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Prior to the tournament, there were concerns over the hosting of Afcon before it began on Sunday due to the separatist conflict in the south-west of the country.

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Another reason for concern was the emergence of the Omicron Covid-19 variant in late November, and how well the Central African nation would be able to handle all the health protocols.

There have been new recorded cases of Covid-19 among the players of the tournament, like the three Senegal players Kalidou Koulibaly, Edouard Mendy, Famara Diedhiou who tested positive and missed their opening Group B match against Zimbabwe on Monday. However, Caf has not made any announcements or changes to the ongoing schedule of the tournament.

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