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Radio station attacked and looted in Baghlan province

(IFJ/IFEX) - February 2, 2011 - The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate, the Afghan Independent Journalists Association (AIJA), in condemning an attack on Radio Payam in the northern Afghanistan province of Baghlan.

According to information available to the AIJA, the radio station was attacked by seven unidentified men early in the morning of January 31. Some of the facilities were damaged but the main objective seems to have been theft, with equipment worth an estimated USD 30,000, including the station's transmitter, reportedly removed by the intruders.

The local leadership of the Taliban and the Hezb-e-Isalami have denied any involvement in the attack on the station, located a mere 500 metres from a police checkpoint.

"The IFJ is deeply worried by this targeted assault on an independent radio station, with the apparent motive of silencing its broadcasts," said IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park.

"We join the AIJA in calling for a thorough investigation by the national and provincial security agencies, in order to provide Afghanistan's journalists with a minimum assurance that they can function without fear in these crucial times for the country."

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