PAN, September 20, 2010

Foreign forces detain AP journalist

The journalist was dragged out of home by more than 10 soldiers, who also ransacked his house, Rahmani alleged

By Mirwais Himmat

GHAZNI CITY/KABUL - Coalition troops arrested a journalist working for an international news agency during a raid on his residence in southern Ghazni province, Afghan officials and NATO said on Monday.

Rahmatullah Nikzad reporter taken by NATO forces
Rahmatullah Nikaz Aljazeera TV and AP reporter in Ghazni province has been taken by NATO forces last night. (Photo: Pajhwok)

Rahmatullah Nekzad, working for the Al-Jazeera Television channel and Associated Press (AP), was arrested by the joint assault force in Ghazni City, the provincial capital, late Sunday night.

The provincial police chief, Col. Zarawar Zahid, told Pajhwok Afghan News he had no idea where the reporter had been taken. Police were making efforts to get him released as soon as possible, he added.

Abdullah Rahmani, a brother of Nekzad, accused the foreign forces of roughing up his brother, who often criticised the international troops for using heavy-handed tactics during operations.

The journalist was dragged out of home by more than 10 soldiers, who also ransacked his house, Rahmani alleged. The provincial authorities had contacted officials of the two media outlets for the reporter's release, he added.

Nekzad's house is located in the Pakhtunabad area on the outskirts of Ghazni City, two kilometres from the NATO military centre, jointly manned by American and Polish troops.

For its part, NATO said the raiding party had detained a suspected Taliban media and propaganda facilitator, who participated in filming election attacks.

The suspect was held by the Afghan and coalition personnel in the Qala-i-Amir area of Ghazni City, the alliance said in a statement.

It added the security force identified and detained the targeted individual after raiding a compound and questioning residents. Grenades, ammunition, magazines video-recording equipment were seized.

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