Russia says Taleban support 30 guerrilla camps
MUNICH, Germany, Feb 4 (Reuters) - A top Russian security official said on Sunday Afghanistan was supporting about 30 "terrorist" camps aimed at training commandos as well as smuggling drugs and arms.
"According to our information, the Taleban fighters, supported by Pakistan, have set up in Afghanistan approximately 30 training camps for terrorist commandos from Central Asian, Arab and European countries," Russian security council secretary Sergei Ivanov told a conference of defence officials in Munich.
Last month the United Nations imposed new sanctions because of the Taleban's refusal to hand over U.S. terrorism suspect Osama bin Laden for trial over his alleged involvement in the bombing of two U.S. embassies in East Africa in 1998.
The sanctions are sponsored by Washington and Russia, which accuse him of training and supporting radical Islamic groups in Afghanistan where he lives under Taleban protection.
The Taleban deny the charges and argue bin Laden is innocent as Washington has failed to prove his involvement in any terrorist act including the masterminding of the embassy bombings.
Russia and ex-Soviet Central Asian states have also expressed concerned that Afghanistan had increasingly become a source of drug trafficking and a training base for radical Islamist fighters.
"A testimony of the close links between international terrorism and organised crime is the fact that Russian border guards in the year 2000 confiscated more than three tons of drugs at the Afghan-Tajik border," Ivanov said.
"We are open for the closest cooperation to fight the global threat of terrorism," he continued. "Today the monster of terrorism reaches not only as far as Central Asia and the Philippines, its threatening breath can be felt in Europe as well."
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