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Last Updated: Monday, 25 February 2008, 11:13 GMT
Taleban issue mobile phone threat
By Jon Brain
BBC News, Kabul

An Afghan mobile salesperson talks to an Afghan woman about mobile services
Mobiles have grown hugely in popularity since 2001
The Taleban have threatened to blow up telephone masts across Afghanistan unless mobile phone companies agree to switch off their signals at night.

They say that US and other foreign troops are using the signals to track down insurgents.

The Taleban have warned the masts and offices of the mobile companies will be destroyed unless their demands are met. Mobiles were introduced after the Taleban fell in 2001 and are now the most popular way of communicating.

''If those companies do not stop their signal within three days, the Taleban will target their towers and their offices," Taleban spokesman Zabiullah Mujaheed said.

The Taleban say that Afghanistan's four mobile phone companies should stop operating between 1700 local time and 0300 the following morning.

Militants have threatened the companies in the past, accusing them of colluding with the US and other forces.

But communication experts say the US military uses satellites to pick up mobile signals and does not need the help of the phone companies anyway.



SEE ALSO
Country profile: Afghanistan
02 May 03 |  Country profiles
Afghans launch new mobile network
26 Jun 03 |  Business
Afghanistan joins mobile age
19 Feb 02 |  Science/Nature

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