Gambian security forces closed down two private radio stations based near the capital, Banjul, the main journalists' union said on Monday, amid an escalating political crisis caused by President Yahya Jammeh's refusal to accept his election defeat.
Jammeh, who seized power in a 1994 coup, initially conceded defeat to opposition rival Adama Barrow but then called for fresh elections, drawing condemnation from local opponents and foreign powers.
The veteran leaders' refusal to step down has opened up the possibility of a military intervention by West African forces after the ECOWAS body said it was putting military forces on alert. Jammeh called that a "declaration of war." Teranga FM and Hilltop Radio were closed on Sunday, said Emil Touray, head of the Gambia Press Union. Teranga's headquarters were shut down by a police officer and four members of the National Intelligence Agency, he said.
A government spokesman said he could not confirm the closures. Touray said he had no further details.