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U-N Representative Calls for Peacekeepers Beyond Kabul - 2002-07-20


The United Nations special representative for Afghanistan has appealed to the U-N Security Council to expand the multi-national security force beyond the Afghan capital, Kabul.

Lakhdar Brahimi told Security Council members today (Friday) that the Afghan peace process is on track, but remains fragile. He says the 45-hundred strong International Security Assistance Force currently operating in Kabul should be doubled to ensure security throughout Afghanistan.

He says the Afghan people would welcome an increased international presence.

U-N Secretary General Kofi Annan has also appealed for an expanded multi-national peacekeeping presence. But several Security Council member nations say Afghans should be more involved in building their own security mechanisms.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force (Turkish major Mourat Pekgulec) says members of the force will train 240 local policemen as bodyguards for top government officials.

The move follows the July 6th assassination of Afghan Vice President Abdul Qadir, who was gunned down outside his office by two men who escaped. No one has been charged in the killing, but several security guards were arrested for doing nothing to prevent the attack or catch the gunmen.

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