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Taliban targeting mobile phone masts

Afghanistan's fledgling mobile network is under threat

Taliban militants have begun blowing up mobile phone masts across Afghanistan after their demands for masts to be shut down at night went unheeded.

To date four have been targeted, with militants using explosives to destroy the electricity generator and base station of the masts. It’s reported that no one has been injured in the attacks.

The Taliban believes that the US and its allies are using mobile phone signals to track its movements and launch attacks against the group. It's accused the phone companies of collusion.


Late in February a Taliban spokesman warned that they would target the masts unless the phone companies switched them off at night, when many US attacks reportedly take place.

However, the recent spate of attacks could ultimately prove to be something of an own-goal by the Taliban, as it too relies on mobile phones to communicate and co-ordinate with itself.

Afghanistan’s Ministry of Communication and Technology has condemned the attacks and said that all warring parties should respect the right to communicate.

The UN has also warned that the attacks could have humanitarian repercussions as Afghanistan relies on its fledgling mobile network to communicate. With the flooding season due to begin soon, Afghanistan’s National Disasters Management Authority has warned that it may struggle to respond effectively.