Kabul: Afghanistan's intelligence service has announced a ban on live media coverage of insurgent attacks, saying that such broadcasts bolster the cause of militants.
The ban came three days after Taliban militants struck at hotels in the heart of Kabul with suicide attackers and a car bomb, killing 16 people, half of them foreigners, in an assault that showed the militants remain a potent force.
The National Directorate of Security told representatives of The Associated Press and other news organisations about the ban during individual meetings yesterday at its heavily secured compound. It cited Article 7 of Afghanistan's national security law.
Saeed Ansari, a spokesman for the directorate, did not disclose specific details about how the ban would be imposed, but said there would be punitive measures taken against journalists who did not comply.
He did not elaborate on what steps the directorate would take against news organisations if they violated the ban.
During the meeting, the Associated Press (AP) argued that the ban would make it difficult to provide the public with up-to-date information about insurgent attacks in Afghanistan.
"We believe broad, pre-emptive bans on coverage are inconsistent with a democratic society," John Daniszewski, AP senior managing editor for international news, said in New York.
Story first published:
March 02, 2010 18:10 IST