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Militants Destroy Mobile Phone Towers in Afghanistan


Afghan police say suspected Taliban militants have destroyed two telephone towers in southern Afghanistan.

In an attack late Saturday, militants burned a tower base station in Kandahar owned by the mobile phone company Roshan. In an earlier raid Friday, they destroyed a tower owned by Areeba, also in Kandahar Province.

Police say the operation is likely to have been carried out by the Taliban. A spokesman for the militant group threatened last week to destroy Afghan telecommunications towers if the networks are not shut down at night.

The Taliban fear that U.S. and other foreign forces in Afghanistan use mobile phone signals to track Taliban fighters.

Mobile phones, introduced to Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban in 2001, are now the country's principal means of communication. They are used by Taliban militants to talk to each other and the media.

Communications experts say the U.S. military can pick up mobile phone signals using satellites, without help from phone companies. The Taliban has threatened mobile phone companies in the past, accusing them of colluding with foreign troops in Afghanistan.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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