Abdul Latif Hakimi, a Taliban spokesman, said the station known as Shariat Ghagh (Voice of Islamic Law) is back on the air and can be heard in four southern Afghan provinces. The station, which was active during the Taliban's time in power from 1996 to 2001, will use a mobile transmitter inside Afghanistan, the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Web site reported Monday.
"The radios of the world, which are apparently free, are in fact slaves of others. That is why we have launched the radio, to make people aware about the Taliban's thoughts and objectives," Hakimi said, as quoted by the Pakistani newspaper Daily Times. An official with the U.N. World Food Programme also confirmed the start of the new station's broadcasts.
U.S. forces have predicted the collapse of the Taliban, saying there are roughly only 2,000 fighters still loyal to the Islamist movement. The radio station is an effort to strengthen their stand and expand their sphere of influence in the southern region of Afghanistan.