Pakistani Death Ray

February 27, 2008

Hilarious piece of Kabul gossip from Jean MacKenzie on the Institute of war and peace reporting blog. It appears the strength of rumour in Kabul rivals the strength of American firepower. And whatever you do, watch out for those incoming Pakistani death rays when you’re answering the phone,

My favorite anecdote is the Pakistani Death Ray, a panic that gripped all of Afghanistan for one memorable day last spring. The buzz began early in the morning with a phone call from our reporters in the south. Some mysterious beam was striking people down through their mobile phones. “If you answer a certain number from Pakistan, you die,” we were told. By noon, the hysteria was at full pitch. Every staff member in our office had received at least three calls from family members, warning them – begging them – not to answer any calls from Pakistani numbers. Shops were closed and pupils were sent home from school. link



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