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Azimi spurns Wall Street Journal report as baseless.

KABUL (PAN): A defence ministry official on Saturday rejected as baseless foreign media reports that some Afghan Air Force (AAF) officials have been using aircraft to traffic narcotics and illegal weapons across the country.

The reports quoted US military officials as saying a probe into the allegations had been launched.

The allegations were first reported by the Wall Street Journal, which also revealed that the US military was probing into whether the alleged transporting of illegal drugs and weapons was connected to an April incident where an AAF colonel killed eight US Air Force officers at Kabul Airport.

The Afghan defence ministry spokesman, Maj. Gen. Zahir Azimi, dismissed the reports as baseless, saying some journalists wanted to gain international fame by releasing such baseless reports.

A statement issued by the ministry quoted Azimi as saying that all issues concerning safety, checks, loading, arrangements of passengers, and control of flights were jointly carried out by Afghan and US pilots.

Despite several requests, the Afghan air force had no permission to operate at nights, he said, adding they were ready to investigate the allegations jointly with foreign media organizations.

He said the defence ministry would launch an independent probe into the authenticity of the reports.

mm/ma/vp

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Publication:Pajhwok Afghan News (Kabul, Afghanistan)
Date:Mar 10, 2012
Words:221
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