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Afghan journalists slam NATO

world Updated: Sep 10, 2009 17:51 IST

An association of Afghan journalists on Thursday criticised the NATO military operation that resulted in the death of an abducted Afghan reporter earlier this week.

NATO troops raided a house on Tuesday night to free Sultan Munadi, an Afghan reporter, and British-Irish national Stephen Farrell, both of whom were working for the New York Times.

Farrell was freed in the raid in the Chardarah district of Kunduz province, but Munadi was shot and killed. A British soldier and an Afghan woman were also reportedly killed in a firefight with the militants.

In a statement, the Media Club of Afghanistan, the country's largest independent body, condemned the Taliban for abducting the journalists.

The club asked all local and international media outlets working in Afghanistan to observe a three-day boycott of news provided by Taliban sources.

The statement also criticised NATO forces for leaving Munadi's body behind in the area. It said that was a "double-standard" and an "inhumane" act.

"There is no justification for the international forces to rescue their own national and retrieve the dead body of their own soldier killed in action, but leave behind the dead body of Sultan Munadi in the area," the statement said.

Munadi's bullet-riddled body was buried on the northern outskirts of Kabul Wednesday evening. Dozens of journalists laid flowers at his grave.

The two journalists were abducted on Saturday while talking to local villagers in the Omarkhel area following a German military-approved airstrike conducted the previous day by a US jet. The district governor had said 130 people, some of them civilians, died in that attack.

The Afghan government, the United Nations and NATO are each conducting investigations in the area to find out what happened.