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November 6, 2001
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Taleban, UN agency in war of words

Afghanistan's ruling Taleban militia and a United Nations aid agency are locked in a war of words on what needs to be done for the people of the country in the wake of relentless US bombings, reports SADA.

Taleban's ambassador to Pakistan, Abdul Salam Zaeef, has accused the UN humanitarian agencies of indulging in politics.

"It is unfortunate the UN does not realise the problems of the Afghan nation," he said.

The Taleban envoy said the US military strikes that began October 7 had forced thousands to leave their homes and face a human catastrophe.

He said, "On the one hand Pakistan is not allowing them to enter its territory, while the UN, which has all the capabilities, is not willing to assist in this matter."

He accused the UN of pursuing 'political interests' while distributing relief and humanitarian supplies in Afghanistan.

But Stephanie Bunker of the UN Office for Humanitarian Assistance in Afghanistan said: "We are not in politics. We are a humanitarian arm of the United Nations."

UN officials have said that non-Afghans -- a reference to Arabs, large numbers of are known to support Osama bin Laden - were controlling Kandahar, the spiritual headquarters of the Taleban.

Bunker said: "We have reports in the past involving lawless people who are non-Afghan elements."

On the occupation of UN offices in Afghanistan, she said: "It is not clear who is in the compound -- whether the Taleban or other armed elements. We are not there inside the compound to see that. The last we knew our offices were not in our possession."

Indo-Asian News Service

America's War on Terror: The Complete Coverage
The Attack on US Cities: The Complete Coverage

The Terrorism Weblog: Latest Stories from Around the World

External Link:
For further coverage, please visit www.saja.org/roundupsept11.html

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