Gunmen attack Jalalabad radio employees
JALALABAD (PAN): Gunmen stormed into the office of a FM radio station in the capital of eastern Nangarhar province early on Tuesday, severely beating employees and destroying equipment, staff and officials said.
The governor’s spokesman, Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, told Pajhwok Afghan News Governor Maulvi Attaullah Ludin had directed his deputy to investigate the attack on the Hamesha Bahar (Spring Forever) FM radio in Jalalabad.
He said the governor’s house strongly condemned the assault and vowed to arrest the attackers and bring them to justice by using all available resources.
The radio’s official, Suhbatullah Intizar, said the gunmen smashed the station’s doors and opened fire at employees before hitting them with gun butts.
“They hit the office guard and injured his head and then started beating me with gun butts,” said Intizar, who claimed he had recognized some of the attackers as gunmen of a provincial council member. However, he did not name the public representative.
He said prior to the attack, they had been threatened through night letters to relocate the radio office, otherwise they would be physically attacked.
Intizar asked the authorities to investigate the attack and book those involved.
Rahmatullah Ziarmal, the deputy head of Independent Writers and Journalists Association in the east, condemned the incident as an attack on the freedom of speech.
He said the association wanted the government to arrest those involved in the assault and punish them in accordance with the law.
Police spokesman Col. Hazrat Hussain Mashriqwal said a team had been sent to the scene for investigation.
The attack, not the first of its kind, underscored the dangers facing the media in Nangarhar, where security officials have several times thrashed and insulted reporters in the past.
Meanwhile, South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA) also condemned the attack on the radio, calling for a serious probe.
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