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Afghanistan Accuses Foreign Countries of Manipulating Afghan Media


Afghanistan's government is accusing foreign countries of manipulating the nation's media outlets into criticizing Afghan officials.

Afghan presidential spokesman Humayun Hamidzada says foreign countries are influencing the Afghan media by funding their operations. He did not name any country or news organization.

Private media have flourished in Afghanistan since the end of Taliban rule in 2001. But, the Afghan government does not always tolerate criticism of its performance.

Afghan intelligence agents arrested television talk show host Nasir Fayaz Monday for allegedly criticizing Afghan officials. The government said the Ariana TV journalist should be prosecuted for making baseless accusations against two ministers.

Ariana TV officials say Fayaz accused Afghanistan's water and energy ministers of impropriety during his program. Government officials say Fayaz tried to ask them for special favors.

In others developments Tuesday, the U.S.-led coalition says troops killed several militants during an operation in the central Afghan province of Ghazni.

And Afghan officials say an explosion killed a suspected bomb maker and four other people inside a house in the eastern province of Kunar.

Separately, the Afghan Defense Ministry says Afghan soldiers backed by foreign air power killed more than 10 militants in the southern province of Kandahar on Monday.

Elsewhere, Afghan officials say a blast killed two Afghan soldiers near Lashkar Gah in the southern Afghan province of Helmand. Officials say Afghan soldiers operating in the province also killed and wounded at least five militants.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.


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