MoD Investigating Taliban Call Claims

MoD Investigating Taliban Call Claims
Wednesday August 22, 2007 SKY NEWS

The Ministry of Defence is investigating claims that threatening calls have been made by the Taliban to families of British troops serving in Afghanistan.

Troops banned from carrying mobilesSpeaking to Sky News Online, a MoD spokesman said military bosses had been made aware of a "small number of nuisance calls" to loved ones back home in the UK and that it was looking into the reports.

"People in the military understand the risks to themselves when they join up, but they certainly don't want those risks going back to their loved ones in the UK," he said.

The news comes four months after the MoD banned all troops in Afghanistan having personal mobile phones amid concerns that they could pose a security risk.

Bosses were worried that the content of personal text messages and phone calls could compromise security if intercepted.

Any troops deploying to Afghanistan now have to hand over their personal phones on arrival.

Taliban may be targeting familiesThey get them back only when they leave the country, either on leave or at the end of their tour.

Speaking about the decision, the spokesman said: "The MoD is aware of the potential pitfalls arising from the use of personal mobiles in theatre.

"It is not something we have done to make the guys' lives difficult, it is for a very good reason and I think they appreciate that."

Troops can still phone their loved ones using the military's own telephone network, which the MoD spokesman said was more secure.

There are currently around 7,000 British troops in Afghanistan, most of whom are based in Helmand Province

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