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Ear to the Ground

Afghan News Outlets to Be Censored on Election Day

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Posted on Aug 18, 2009
Bomb in Kabul
AP / Kevin Frayer

Afghan police and security gather next to destroyed cars at the scene of a suicide car bombing Tuesday in the outskirts of Kabul.

Tensions continue to build before Thursday’s presidential election in Afghanistan. After a spate of violence in the capital city of Kabul on Tuesday, including a suicide car bombing that killed at least eight people and wounded 53, the government banned local news outlets from reporting any similar incidents on election day.  —KA

The New York Times:

Even as the government, and United States and NATO forces have worked hard to secure polling centers in violence-prone southern Afghanistan, they find themselves increasingly locked in a propaganda battle with the Taliban, as it wages a campaign of fear to deter voters.

The Taliban has issued repeated warnings in statements to the press—the most recent emailed to reporters by a spokesman Monday—and carried out two massive suicide car bombings and rocket attacks on the capital in two days, to create a sense of fear to keep voters at home.

A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing when contacted by telephone.

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