African mobile giant wants 'Taliban' court case dropped

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By BBC Africa

Africa's largest mobile operator MTN has asked a court in the US to dismiss a case which accuses the company of breaking anti-terrorist legislation in its business in Afghanistan.

The lawsuit, lodged by families of American military personnel and civilians who were killed in Afghanistan, alleges that MTN and other companies supported the Islamist militants by making payments to ensure their infrastructure was protected.

MTN is one of six companies from which the families are seeking compensation.

But the South African telecoms firm says the case should be withdrawn because the American court has no jurisdiction as MTN does not operate in the US. It also says the complaint does not allege any conduct that would have violated the Anti-Terrorism Act.

MTN has expressed sympathy for families who lost loved ones "as a result of the tragic conflict in Afghanistan".

It also says it has been lauded by the World Bank for expanding telecommunications services to "the impoverished people of Afghanistan".

 

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