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Friday, 19 October, 2001, 13:36 GMT 14:36 UK
Taleban 'take over' UN warehouses
A WFP truck in Peshawar
Many aid agencies say they have been harassed in Afghanistan
By the BBC's Emma Jane Kirby at IOM headquarters in Geneva

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has reported that that its office in Kunduz, in northern Afghanistan, has been occupied by the Taleban and its warehouses sealed.

Survival equipment, such as blankets and warm clothing can now not be distributed to those in need. Staff of the IOM - an inter-governmental organisation - were beaten up during the occupation and have now been sent home.

Taleban forces arrived at the office at Kunduz on Wednesday, removing radio equipment from the office and taking two vehicles.

Taleban officials then made an inventory of the contents of the warehouse which contained winter survival items of the IOM and the United Nations children's fund.

The IOM had just brought the material in from the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif to distribute to camps in the area.

Ordered home

Six thousand blankets, 10,000 pairs of children's shoes and 10,000 children's sweaters are among the stock in the warehouse.

Afghan woman carrying UN supplied bread
UN bakeries support 350,000 Afghans

The Taleban have ordered staff home and have banned further distribution of the goods.

Its not clear whether the Taleban have destroyed or removed the stock as all contact with local IOM staff in Kunduz has now been lost.

This is the second IOM office to have been looted.

On Monday, staff at the Mazar-e-Sharif building were attacked and equipment and trucks were stolen.

It is not clear whether if this attack was carried out by the Taleban.

This Saturday, the IOM hopes to start a joint helicopter operation with a French aid agency to distribute non-food relief items three times a week from Tajikistan to the opposition Northern Alliance held region of Badokshan.

See also:

01 Oct 01 | South Asia
How Afghans became aid dependent
30 Sep 01 | South Asia
In pictures: Afghanistan's refugees
19 Sep 01 | South Asia
On edge: Afghanistan's neighbours
27 Sep 01 | UK Politics
Blair calls for aid alliance
25 Sep 01 | South Asia
The wild border town of Quetta
01 Oct 01 | World
Afghanistan's missing millions
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