US, Afghan forces ransack radio office in Logar
PUL-I-ALAM (Pajhwok): A joint Afghan-US security force raided a radio station in central Logar province, capturing a large amount of weapons and discovering fighting positions around the facility, NATO claimed on Saturday, but the radio staff said they were subjected to torture and the office equipment broken.
Qazi Nasir Mudassir, the Milli Paigham Radio station in-charge, told Pajhwok Afghan News the joint forces forcibly entered the station around 11am on Friday and detained him along with two others colleagues before being released after two hours.
He claimed the forces damaged furniture and other equipment in the office and the Americans took away two employees with them.
Mudassir denied the radio had breached journalistic ethics in its broadcasts, something the US forces cited an excuse for the raid.
Provincial Information and Culture Director Mohammad Shafiq Popal confirmed the incident, saying foreign troops subjected the radio officials to torture and damaged the equipment.
He remarked the brazen attack was a stark violation of the freedom of expression and a humiliation to free media.
International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in a statement confirmed the Afghan-led raid on the radio station in Mohammad Agah district due to what the force said “reporting of potential enemy activity.”
The ISAF statement said Afghan forces detained three individuals until the presence of heavy weapons and fighting positions at the location could be investigated further.
Meanwhile, the US-led coalition said Afghan forces conducted and led the operation, with American troops providing advisory assistance.
The search came after Afghan forces received reports of pro-Haqqani Network message broadcasts and insurgents using the facility for weapons storage, the military said in a statement.
It claimed one rocket propelled grenade launcher, two AK-47 assault rifles, seven rocket-propelled grenades, 10 AK-47 assault rifle magazines, 500 rounds of AK-47 ammunition, tactical gear, and a variety of unexploded ordnance casings were seized during the operation.
No equipment or material was broken, the statement said, adding the US coalition forces did not handle the detainees at any time.
Additionally, fighting positions were discovered inside the radio station and three suspected insurgents were detained as a criminal investigation by the local law enforcement organs went on.
The Milli Paigham Radio started its transmission in 2003 ans since has been airing Islamic, cultural, entertainment and social programmes every 10 hours a day
Six years back, unidentified gunmen attacked the radio, leaving a guard critically injured.
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