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Afghan Official Says Reconstruction Key to Stability - 2002-04-11


Afghanistan's finance minister says future stability in his war-torn country depends on the success of reconstruction efforts.

Speaking in Kabul at the end of a two-day conference of international donors, Hedayat Amin Arsala said funds for Afghan reconstruction must be forthcoming if the country's new government is to create a national police force.

Afghan interim leader Hamid Karzai Wednesday urged international donor states to quickly deliver billions of dollars in promised aid to prevent his country from falling back into chaos. More than $4 billion in aid over the next five years was pledged to Afghanistan at a Tokyo conference in January. Less than $300 million of that has been delivered so far.

A worker with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization was murdered in the northern town of Mazar-e-Sharif Wednesday. The motive was not immediately clear, but U.N. officials called the killing part of a disturbing pattern of attacks on civilians and said they would seek better protection for aid workers.

Meanwhile, international peacekeepers in Kabul said they have found 151 Chinese-made rockets similar to the ones fired at a peacekeepers' base earlier this week.

A spokesman for the peacekeepers, Flight Lt. Joel Fall, described the find as quite significant. He said the cache was found Wednesday after peacekeepers and Afghan security forces jointly conducted house to house searches in several regions of the capital city.

(ap,afp,prev)

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