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Tuesday, 16 October, 2001, 17:56 GMT 18:56 UK
Taleban face civil unrest
Residents in Kabul survey the damage after a US strike
The strikes have brought unrest in their wake
Susannah Price

The United Nations has said that law and order appears to be breaking down in Afghanistan amid reports of fighting and looting in some Afghan cities.

In the southern city of Kandahar, the offices of the British based agency Islamic relief were stormed by 20 armed Arabs.

A large group from the Taleban came round to try to control the situation, and fighting broke out.

Taleban minister Abdul Wakil Muttawakil
It appears the Taleban are losing their grip in some areas
The Taleban then told Islamic relief, which has been providing food for displaced people they were not in a position to guarantee their safety.

They were also reports of non-Afghans moving into Kandahar and taking over empty residential homes and aid agency offices.

There are many non-Afghans including Arabs who have fought alongside the Taleban and who now live in Afghanistan.

Several vehicles belonging to mine clearance organisations in the city have also been taken.

And, in the northern town of Mazar-e-Sharif, Taleban members looted the offices of another organisation.

Weakening grip

A spokeswoman for the UN said it appeared that law and order was breaking down in some areas.

Some UN offices are being closed or occupied, and most of their communication equipment has been impounded.

It is not clear whether the aid agencies are being specifically targeted, or whether they are chosen because they have a large amount of valuable equipment and vehicles.

But, it appears that the Taleban who were originally praised for bringing peace and security are losing control in some areas.

The UN's Stephanie Bunker
"Aid agency workers have been attacked and offices looted."
See also:

15 Oct 01 | South Asia
Thousands cross into Pakistan illegally
14 Oct 01 | Americas
Military campaign: One week on
14 Oct 01 | From Our Own Correspondent
Warriors on land and sea
14 Oct 01 | South Asia
Millions at risk in Afghan crisis
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