2 Al-Jazeera Producers Arrested In Afghanistan

By: Rahim Faiez, Associated Press Email
By: Rahim Faiez, Associated Press Email

KABUL (AP) - Al-Jazeera called for the immediate release of two of its Afghan producers after they were arrested by Afghan intelligence agents. The network said it has been unable to contact them.

Qais Azimy and Hamedullah Shah, who work for the network's English and Arabic services, have been held by Afghan authorities since Sunday, the station said Monday in a statement.

"Al-Jazeera is officially requesting information from the Afghan authorities and is calling for Qais and Hamedullah's immediate release," it said.

It was unclear why the two were arrested.

In a news report over the weekend from the northern Afghan province of Kunduz, Al-Jazeera showed Azimy meeting with Taliban fighters and interviewing a Taliban commander who said that he was in charge of hundreds of men and had 12 suicide bombers waiting to strike.

Afghan authorities may have been angered by the report, Al-Jazeera correspondent David Chater said in a statement.

"We don't know why they've been taken. We don't know what they've been charged with, if they've been charged at all. We don't know why they're being interrogated, if indeed they're bein interrogated," Chater said.

Afghan officials couldn't immediately be reached for comment late Monday.

Northern Afghanistan had been one of the few peaceful regions in the country. But Kunduz province, where about 3,500 German soldiers are stationed, has seen a sharp rise in violence in recent months.

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