Thursday, December 13, 2007

Pakistani forces close illegal radio station

Pakistani security forces have retaken a strategic mountain from pro-Taliban militants in the restive Swat valley in northwest Pakistan and shut down an illegal radio station used by their radical head as a propaganda machine. The radio station, a vital part of pro-Taliban cleric Maulana Fazlullah's campaign advocating 'jehad' and the imposition of Shariat or Islamic law, has not been heard since Monday, local residents said on Tuesday. Recorded messages from Fazlullah, also known as "Mullah Radio," were broadcast by the station and he was not physically present there. The government of North West Frontier Province (NWFP) said troops conducting operations against Fazlullah's men had secured the area between Kanju town and Najia Top, the highest peak in Swat district. It is believed the radio station was operating in this area. Militants were fleeing from Imamdheri, Fazlullah's headquarters, as well as Kuza Banda, Bara Banda and Ningolai, all strongholds of the rebels, said state-run PTV. The militant leader functioning as "Governor" in Matta town was killed in an operation by the security forces, it said. Fazlullah's radio station had continued broadcasting even after the federal government rushed thousands of troops to Swat in late October to quell the activities of the cleric and his Shaheen Commando Force. Though several TV channels were blacked out by the government after President Pervez Musharraf imposed emergency earlier this month, the radio station could be heard across Swat. (Via Nov 28 at , via Kumar)
(Source: DX Window # 339 via Anker Petersen)