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Afghans Mark End of Ramadan With Baths, Sweets and Jubilant Gunfire - 2001-12-15


Jubilant Afghans are celebrating the end of the month-long Ramadan fast with a host of things that were banned during five years of harsh Taleban rule.

Residents in cities across Afghanistan shot off guns in the air to mark the rising of the moon today (Saturday), on the eve of the Islamic calendar's biggest holiday -- Eid al-Fitr -- which is three days of feasting that begin Sunday.

Earlier in the day, people crowded sweet shops in a frenzy of last-minute preparations. Women also took advantage of another long-forbidden pleasure -- bathing in public bath houses.

A Pentagon spokesman in Washington says U-S forces are also helping to mark the festivities Sunday, by air-dropping a traditional fruit -- dates -- to the Afghan people.

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