TV sets
Taliban launch TV smashing operation in Kabul
TV sets hanged by Taliban

KABUL, July 30,1998 (AFP) - Heavily-armed Taliban militia fighters launched a series of raids on electronics shops in the Afghan capital, smashing and taking away dozens of television sets and video players, an AFP reporter witnessed.

Mobile teams from the Ministry for Fostering Virtue and Suppressing Vice sealed off a bustling city center street as part of a huge operation set to hit the entire war-weary city.

Armed with automatic rifles, the bearded fighters were seen hurling television sets out of shops onto the street. Two soldiers were seen tossing sets from the balcony of a two-storey shop.

The sounds of the exploding sets sent some residents scurrying for cover, apparantly mistaking the bangs for gunfire. Frustrated store-owners could only look on powerless.

"Try not to hurt the people," Deputy vice and virtue minister Mawlawi Qalamuddin yelled to his fighters on the loudspeaker from his off-road pick up vehicle, itself full of confiscated sets.

"We had told these people to turf these stuff out within 15 days," he told AFP, stressing that all the remaining televisions would be smashed and collected from all the city shops now the ultimatum had expired.

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