US troops seize radio station

Published May 13, 2002

ISLAMABAD, May 12: Afghan troops backed by US soldiers seized control of a local radio station from supporters of a warlord in the eastern province of Khost, the Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) reported Sunday.

The troops transferred the staff and equipment to new premises established near Khost city’s airport on Saturday, the Pakistan-based private news agency said. Control of the radio station had been in the hands of Kamal Khan, a brother of warlord Padsha Khan, and had been airing anti-government propaganda, the agency said.

The official residence of the local governor was still in the hands of Khan’s sympathisers, it added, quoting a spokesman for governor Hakeem Tanewal as saying that Afghan forces plan to take it soon. Khan was initially appointed governor of Paktia province by the interim Afghan leader Hamid Karzai but failed to take charge in the face of strong resistance from members of the local Shura, the council of elders.

Paktia’s governor Taj Mohammad Wardak last week accepted an offer made by a mediation team sent by ex-king Mohammad Zahir Shah to try to resolve differences with Khan through negotiations. Wardak had earlier issued an ultimatum to Khan to either surrender or face a military operation.—AFP

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