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    NDS agents jailed for beating journalists

     JALALABAD (PAN): National Directorate of Security (NDS) agents, who physically assaulted journalists in the wake of Sunday's suicide car bombing in eastern Nangarhar province, were jailed on Tuesday.

    The intelligence personnel had been imprisoned under NDS regulations, the provincial governor’s spokesman told a news conference in Jalalabad -- a day after the authorities promised legal action over the incident.

    On Monday, the NDS chief for Nangarhar Gul Nabi Wardak tendered an apology to protesting journalists and promised efforts to prevent a recurrence of such maltreatment. Deputy Governor Mohammad Hanif was also present on the occasion.

    Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, the gubernatorial spokesman, told reporters: “The spy service has appointed a delegation to investigate the incident, which has also been referred to the attorney office.”

    All government officials, including the governor, regretted and denounced the beating of journalists in the strongest of terms, he said, promised steps were being taken to prevent such episodes in future.

    Lal Pacha Azmoon, a senior journalist and head of the Afghan Independent Journalists Association (AIJA), hailed the action as a triumph for the fraternity.

    He told Pajhwok Afghan News their demand for punishing the intelligence employees involved in abusing the reporters had been met. “For security personnel, imprisonment is a serious penalty, which will send a clear message to others.”