More than 1,500 feared dead in Afghan earthquakes
By Sayed Salahuddin and Brian Williams
Tuesday March 26, 7:37 PM
KABUL (Reuters) - More than 1,500 people were feared dead and 4,000 injured after a series of earthquakes flattened a district capital and villages in northern
Afghanistan on Monday night and Tuesday morning, government officials said.
"We are sending rescue teams but aftershocks make relief efforts dangerous," a spokesman for the defence ministry told Reuters.
Officials said the district capital of Nahrin, near the epicentre in the rugged Hindu Kush mountains, had been destroyed and 1,500 homes had crumbled.
Interim leader Hamid Karzai cancelled a trip to Turkey scheduled for Wednesday because of the quake.
The United Nations refugee agency said news was emerging only slowly from the remote mountain area, but spoke of "a devastating earthquake" with hundreds
dead and many villages flattened.
The quakes registered between five and six on the Richter scale.
The U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, said Karzai had announced 1,800 deaths, while a spokesman for northern warlord General Rashid
Dostum spoke of around 700 deaths.
"More than 1,500 people are said to have died in the quake," a Karzai aide told Reuters. Karzai chaired an emergency meeting of all ministries on how to deal with
the tragedy, he said."
The Defence Ministry spokesman told Reuters: "Our reports say there are 1,500 dead, 4,000 injured, at least 1,500 homes destroyed and 20,000 people are
An Afghan helicopter pilot just back after flying a team of officials to Nahrin said the town of mud-brick houses was devastated.
"I found all houses flattened," Mohammad Haroon told Reuters. "People have fled to wherever they can. Aftershocks were continuing when when I left at noon. We
are rushing medicine and supplies as well a shrouds for the dead to the area."
Dostum's spokesman said he was passing through the nearby city of Baghlan on Tuesday when he heard reports of the quake.
"The old city of Nahrin is completely destroyed, but there is less damage in the new city," Sibghatullah Zaki told Reuters. "The people are terrified and there is great
confusion. They said they hadn't slept the whole night."
It was the second major earthquake to hit north Afghanistan this month. More than 100 people were buried by a landslide in a remote village in neighbouring
Samangan province on March 3 after the last quake.
The country is already struggling with the impact of a long drought, insecurity and the aftermath of fighting between U.S.-led forces and the former Taliban rulers.
MANY VILLAGES FLATTENED
Aid workers in the northern town of Mazar-i-Sharif, some 200 km (120 miles) northwest of Nahrin, said they felt the quake on Monday night and ran out into the
streets. Light shocks were also felt in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad.
A team from the United Nations, aid agencies and the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) headed from Mazar to Nahrin to assess the damage,
taking hundreds of tents and blankets, ICRC and U.N. officials said.
"Details are sketchy -- the little we know paints a picture of a devastating earthquake," said Yusuf Hassan, spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for
Refugees (UNHCR). "Hundreds have died and many villages have been razed to the ground."
"We still do not know about the full impact. Roads are bad and access to the quake area is very difficult," he said.
"Our main concern is refugees coming back home to the quake-hit area. Our message to them is 'stay put'. It is not a good time to return home."
The U.S. Geological Survey in Colorado said the first shock, measuring 6.0 on the Richter scale, was felt at 7:26 p.m.(1456 GMT) on Monday and the epicentre
was very close to Nahrin, 100 miles (160 km) north of Kabul.
Another quake at 2:15 a.m. on Tuesday (2145 GMT Monday) measured 5.0 on the Richter scale, USGS said on its Web site.
HELP ON THE WAY A spokesman for the British-led International Security Assistance Force said the Afghan government had asked the peacekeepers to send
reconnaissance teams to the earthquake area to investigate casualties and the extent of damage.
"We have been asked to send ISAF reconnaissance teams to see how we can help," Colonel Neal Peckham told Reuters in Kabul.
U.S. envoy Khalilzad said his government would provide assistance "in dealing with this tragedy".
But the American military, whose role in Afghanistan is to fight remnants of the vanquished Taliban and their al Qaeda allies, said they did not know of any plans for
them to help.
"I don't know, that would be up to the president," said U.S. military spokesman Major Bryan Hilferty at Bagram air base near Kabul. "But I can tell you that's not
what we are built for. We are a combat headquarters."
Earthquakes are relatively frequent in the Hindu Kush mountain range. In 1998, two earthquakes killed about 8,500 people and destroyed tens of thousands of
houses in Takhar and Badakhshan provinces.
Officials Say 600 Bodies Recovered From Afghan Quake
Tuesday March 26, 6:57 PM
KABUL (AP)--A powerful earthquake that shook Afghanistan and northwestern Pakistan has killed about 1,200 people, aid officials said Tuesday. The Afghan
Defense Ministry said 600 bodies had been recovered by early afternoon from villages still shaking from frequent aftershocks.
ACTED, a private aid organization, said its estimates came from staffers in the devastated area about 140 kilometers north of Kabul on the slopes of the Hindu Kush
mountains, where Monday's quake was centered.
No End to 4-Year Afghan Drought
Mon Mar 25, 7:37 PM ET
By CHARLES J. HANLEY, AP Special Correspondent
ARGHANDAB, Afghanistan (AP) - A popular Afghan ballad sings of Arghandab's orchards, a cool, quiet retreat that "I can't forget even if I try." This spring
Afghans will have to try hard to remember the green of Arghandab, amid the caked and cracked earth, the empty streams, the lifeless trees.
Rain briefly spattered the dust in southern Afghanistan (news - web sites) last week, but the sun soon returned, the wind blew all the harder, and winter drew to its
close, the fourth annual "wet" season with scant precipitation here at the epicenter of the most extensive drought in the world.
Some rain and snow may have helped other regions, but in the south less than a half-inch of rain fell in the "rainy" month of February, reported U.N. agronomist
Mohammad Morad in nearby Kandahar. "It's very bad," he said.
"Half of them have left already," district chief Haji Naik Nazar said of Arghandab's people. "They've gone to different countries — Iran, Pakistan, America.
"The ones still here have mostly abandoned their farms. They're trying to work as day laborers or cleaners or drivers or selling small things."
Most of the orchards — Arghandab's apples and peaches and pomegranates — "are dead," he said.
In this Afghan dust bowl, desperation forms a line each morning in the district office courtyard, as people arrive from villages as far as five miles away, by foot, by
donkey, pushing wheelbarrows, to pump water from the only well in the area that still has any.
Shallow household wells, of the bucket variety, went dry long ago. The Afghan Red Crescent Society and other aid organizations are working to install deeper pump
wells, one to every village, but the program — at $500 a pump — takes time. "Many villages are still without hand pumps," said Abdul Latif of Kandahar's Red
Crescent, the Muslim equivalent of the Red Cross.
Scenes similar to those in Arghandab are playing out in villages across Afghanistan, in the worst drought to parch this luckless land in a half-century, a natural disaster
that greatly complicates efforts to restore normal economic life after 23 years of war.
Millions of Afghans displaced by fighting and the collapse of agriculture depend on international food aid to survive. But the impact of the drought, affecting 60 million
people in six southern and central Asian nations, reaches far beyond day-to-day needs.
In this traditional fruit-growing belt, for example, farmers have had to rip out half the grape vines in their vineyards — some vines 80 years old or more — to try to
help the others cling to life with water rationed from scattered deep wells.
About half the fruit trees across southern Afghanistan also have been lost, said Morad, head of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (news - web sites) office
In the case of pomegranate, apricot and some others, "it would take 20 to 30 years to bring orchards back to full fruit-bearing stage," he said.
The drought threatens to end the ageless lifestyle of the Kochis, a nomadic people who traditionally grazed flocks of sheep across the semi-deserts of the south,
where the sparse vegetation has now all but disappeared. Like many Afghans, the Kochis have sold or slaughtered their livestock for cash or food, or watched them
die of disease and hunger. Families' flocks of hundreds have dwindled to a few.
"In all my life, I've never seen Kochis begging on the roadside, but now they are doing it," said M. Arif Salemi, 58, the FAO animal health officer in Kandahar.
Dry-land wheat — wheat fed by rain, not irrigation — has disappeared completely from the six southern provinces, said the FAO's Morad. Here in Arghandab
district, 10 percent of the cultivable land is in irrigated wheat, and the rest is unplanted, parched and caked — or in poppy.
Some farmers are substituting the opium flower for wheat. Technically banned, poppy is much more profitable and a more efficient user of pumped-in water. "I have
two jirib of poppy," said Arghandab peasant Mohammad Gul, 25. A jirib is a 48-by-48-yard plot. "I haven't planted anything in my other six jirib. There's not
Little of anything will be planted this spring, Morad said. "There's hardly any runoff from the mountains. The rivers are dry. The summer will be dry. Only those with
wells will plant."
Climatologists suspect relatively high sea temperatures in the eastern Indian and western Pacific oceans have indirectly caused the drought, by keeping winter storms
from moving through this region. Rainfall has been less than 55 percent of average since the 1998-99 winter.
A reversal — a true winter rainy season — is overdue, the scientists say. "I hope so, next year," Morad said. "But there's no guarantee."
Rumsfeld: US to Help Train New Army
Mon Mar 25, 1:34 PM ET
By SUSANNE M. SCHAFER, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) - American troops will soon begin helping to train an Afghan army to try to maintain security and guard the borders in that still-unstable
nation, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Monday.
The United States will send no additional troops to do the training, instead using special forces troops already in the country, when they are not engaged in other
tasks, Rumsfeld said.
No decision has been made about how large the Afghan army might eventually be, Rumsfeld said, saying that was a decision most likely to be made by the Afghans.
The United States will begin working with other governments to raise money to help pay for the training of the Afghan army and to pay the soldiers themselves,
Rumsfeld said. The Bush administration also might consider asking Congress for money to help with the training, the defense secretary said.
So far, British and German members of the international security force in Afghanistan (news - web sites) have begun providing basic training for a group of 600 or so
Afghans in Kabul.
But thousands of other potential recruits have been waiting, idly and untrained, in tent camps or barracks blocks. So far, most are paid only with a daily plate of
onion and potato, although some officers have had meager wages paid by local businessmen. All are so far without uniforms.
"What we've decided to do is to try to get it started, and be helpful with one piece," Rumsfeld said.
The hope is that the first groups of Afghans could then take over much of the training of new classes of recruits, perhaps as early as year's end, Rumsfeld said.
Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the Afghan army would try to keep security in the country and also help guard the borders.
"One of our missions has been to ensure that Afghanistan is not a safe haven for terrorists," said Myers. "This assistance we're going to provide ... is directly part of
Fighting between regional Afghan warlords has become a problem in some areas since the Taliban were kicked from power, and Rumsfeld has said he believes the
key to future stability in the country is the creation of an Afghan army.
The United States has declined to put any military troops into the international security force now in Afghanistan, whose leadership will soon be taken over by
The focus of the majority of U.S. troops in the country will be "to track down and try to find ... the senior al-Qaida and Taliban in the country," Rumsfeld said
Enemies Threaten Int'l Peacekeepers
Mon Mar 25, 2:20 PM ET
By NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press Writer
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - Suspected al-Qaida and Taliban fighters planned to kill international peacekeepers by setting off car bombs in Afghanistan (news -
web sites)'s capital, authorities said Monday.
Six cars were rigged with booby-traps to be detonated near peacekeeper security patrols, according to Flight Lt. Tony Marshall, a spokesman for the security force.
The vehicles were placed under surveillance, but no arrests have been made, he said. However, the international security force chose to make the plot public after a
French captain revealed details of it to French journalists, officials said.
"We were aware of these vehicles ... where these vehicles were being kept and what the intentions were of these groups," Marshall said. "If there had been any
move to actually use these vehicles in any way, in the matter that I've just described," peacekeepers would have acted, he added.
Although Kabul has been relatively quiet for months, Western and Afghan authorities have been concerned over the possibility that al-Qaida and Taliban holdouts
would try to infiltrate the city and stage attacks against the 4,500-member peacekeeping force.
Concern over peacekeeper safety is running high in countries such as Britain and Germany that provide the bulk of the 18-nation force. The International Security
Assistance Force operates only in Kabul and is separate from the U.S.-led force fighting al-Qaida and the Taliban elsewhere in Afghanistan.
Marshall said intelligence information also indicated that peacekeepers and other foreigners may be kidnapped by extremists "to either promote their particular cause
or achieve some end goal" such as the release of prisoners held by the United States and anti-Taliban Afghan forces.
"Whether they're in or outside of the capital, whether they're al-Qaida or Taliban, that is something perhaps that is not clear," Marshall said. "However the threat is
The peacekeeping force has already advised journalists and Western aid workers that they were at risk of being kidnapped in Kabul and elsewhere. The warning
was issued during the recently concluded Operation Anaconda, which targeted al-Qaida and Taliban units in eastern Afghanistan.
Marshall called both warnings credible and significant.
The reports of fresh threats come just days after Afghanistan's former king delayed his scheduled return home for the first time since his 1973 ouster, citing security
Mohammad Zaher Shah was due to return to Kabul Tuesday, but the Italian government, which has maintained responsibility for his security during his three decades
of exile in Rome, said over the weekend that the timing was not appropriate.
The presence of the peacekeeping force in the capital has not been enthusiastically welcomed by all members of interim Prime Minister Hamid Karzai's
The defense minister, Gen. Mohammed Fahim, has long resisted any expansion of the force outside of Kabul and would like the peacekeepers to leave as soon as
possible. Most of the opposition has come from the "Panjshiri" group — ethnic Tajiks such as Fahim who fought against the Taliban in the northern alliance and are
from the Panjshir Valley of the Hindu Kush Mountains.
However, other officials of the new government, including Karzai, have praised the peacekeeping force and its efforts to enforce security in the capital. Karzai has
been pressing for an expanded role for the peacekeepers outside the capital. He also wants more international troops sent to Afghanistan.
So far, peacekeepers have been involved in three major shooting incidents since they were deployed in late December. No peacekeepers have been hurt in the
incidents, but in one case a man was shot and killed while taking his pregnant sister-in-law to the hospital to deliver a baby.
In other developments:
_ U.S. troops will soon begin helping to train an Afghan army to try to maintain security and guard the borders, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said
Monday. The United States will send no additional troops to do the training, but will use special forces troops already in the country when they are not engaged in
other tasks, Rumsfeld said.
_ An earthquake (news - web sites) shook a wide area of Afghanistan and northwestern Pakistan on Monday, but there were no immediate reports of damage or
casualties. The U.S. Geological Survey (news - web sites) in Golden, Colo., said the 5.9 magnitude quake was centered about 105 miles north of Kabul in the
Hindu Kush mountains.
_ In Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghan workers started demolishing the remains of a girls' school destroyed by American bombers after Taliban and al-Qaida units in the city
staged a last stand there in November. The Sultan Rasia school once served 6,500 female students, more than one-seventh of the city's 45,000 students, until it was
closed by the Taliban.
_ The U.S. military bolstered its firepower in eastern Afghanistan, bringing in a small number of A-10 Thunderbolt II attack jets to Bagram air base. The planes had
flown combat operations before from an undisclosed base outside Afghanistan, U.S. officials said.
_ A dispute among America's Afghan allies continued to build about 40 miles east of the Operation Anaconda battle area. Afghan officials said U.S. Special Forces
had not handed over two suspects who allegedly sought refuge at their base after ambushing the car of the regional security chief. One bodyguard and two other
people were killed. The incident threatens to drive a wedge between Afghan groups allied with the United States in the battle against al-Qaida and the Taliban.
More deadly than landmines
Monday March 25, 2002
Unexploded ammunition now poses as big a threat to civilians as landmines, according to an authoritative report published today.
Unexploded cluster bombs, mortars and rockets are more likely to kill than anti-personnel mines and there are no international controls over them, the report says.
In the two years after the Kosovo war such weapons caused many more deaths than mines, a pattern which is reflected in Afghanistan and Eritrea, it says.
The report, Explosive Remnants of War, was drawn up by the more than British 50 charities and international agencies which make up the campaign coalition
It was sponsored by the Co-operative bank.
Children accounted for almost two-thirds of those killed or injured by unexploded ammunition in Kosovo.
On Friday Clare Short, the international development secretary, said the UN estimated that there were 14,000 unexploded bomblets in Afghanistan from cluster
bombs dropped by US aircraft.
Simon Williams, corporate affairs director of the Co-operative Bank, said the bank was demanding a freeze on the use of cluster bombs and a new international law
requiring those responsible for dropping them to clear all unexploded ordnance
Al-Qaeda recruiting in Pakistan town, Afghans say
By Vivienne Walt
KHOST, Afghanistan -- Hundreds of al-Qaeda fighters who sought refuge in Pakistan across the border from this eastern Afghan town are holding weekly meetings
in mosques to try to pump recruits into a new holy war against U.S. forces in Afghanistan, according to two Afghan commanders.
Khost police chief Mohammad Mustafa says his men have seen hundreds of al-Qaeda members in Miram Shah, a town across the Pakistani border.
Mustafa and Kamal Khan, a local military commander, say two top figures are assisting al-Qaeda's efforts in northern Pakistan: former Taliban border affairs minister
Maulvi Jalaluddin Haqqani and Osama bin Laden's top aide, Egyptian physician Ayman al-Zawahiri.
U.S. forces, aided by allied Afghan commanders, have been searching for al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders since the Taliban was pushed out of power in November.
There was no independent confirmation on the presence of Haqqani and al-Zawahiri in Pakistan.
''There have been meetings for new recruits where they tell people, 'There are Americans, so you need to join a new jihad against them because they are now
occupying Afghanistan,' '' Mustafa says. ''Haqqani's men are running the meetings, but the advice is given by a small group of senior Arabs.'' Al-Qaeda members are
mainly Arabs and other non-Afghans. The Taliban is mostly Afghan.
U.S. officials have said al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters are regrouping in Afghanistan. Vice President Cheney, speaking Sunday on CNN, cited intelligence
information indicating an attempt to organize. ''There are, I'm sure, going to be efforts by them to try to organize themselves enough so that they can launch an attack
at least on our forces in Afghanistan,'' he said.
Mustafa says al-Qaeda also had begun offering sums of up to 15,000 Pakistani rupees (about $250) to recruits among tribes in Pakistan. ''Some of them are very
poor and need the money, and others believe in al-Qaeda,'' the police chief says.
Khan, 28, who is the brother of local warlord Bacha Khan, says his men saw bin Laden near Khost about March 13.
''Bin Laden was on horseback with about 80 people,'' he says.
There was no independent confirmation. U.S. officials, including Cheney, say it's not clear whether bin Laden is alive.
U.S. troops and special operations forces, meanwhile, have hunkered down at the Khost airfield on the edge of town, a key gateway to northern Pakistan and
possible escape route for al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters. On Tuesday, U.S. and Afghan soldiers fought gunmen, reportedly al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters, at the
airfield's gate. One U.S. soldier was wounded; three allied Afghan fighters were killed.
Adding to problems caused by the presence of al-Qaeda and Taliban sympathizers, local warlords have been battling over turf. The governor of Khost province
demanded that U.S. forces hand over rival Afghan allies who allegedly opened fire Sunday on the region's security chief, killing a bodyguard.
Afghan authorities say the assailants were believed to have been U.S. allies who took refuge in the Americans' fortified airport compound. There was no U.S.
confirmation of the charge. The intelligence chief of Khost, Hazratudin, who goes by one name, says the assailants opened fire on Sur Gul because the security chief
had tried to disarm them Saturda
Delays in a Long-Awaited Return
Asia: Security wrinkles have complicated ex-Afghan ruler Mohammad Zaher Shah's homecoming.
By RICHARD BOUDREAUX, TIMES STAFF WRITER
KABUL, Afghanistan -- They're patching a rocket hole in the pool house roof, planting flowers in the garden and assembling furniture kits flown in from the United
Arab Emirates. Behind a security wall, newly raised to 10 feet and topped with coils of barbed wire, Afghans are readying a house almost fit for a king.
What's missing from this picture? If Afghanistan's deposed monarch is on his way home to this war-battered country, you would think that his six-bedroom residence
might be swarming with security guards. But not yet.
Belated qualms over who will protect 87-year-old Mohammad Zaher Shah, considered a key figure in the country's hoped-for transition to democratic rule, have
forced a politically awkward delay of his long-awaited return from exile in Italy. He had been due to arrive here Tuesday aboard an Italian air force jet after nearly
29 years in exile. The Bush administration urged Italy to postpone the trip so that U.S. military officers could train a special force of Afghans deemed loyal to the
former monarch rather than leave his protection to the Afghan Interior Ministry, whose leaders have opposed Zaher Shah in the past, a senior U.S. official said.
At the administration's request, the official said, Italy also agreed to deploy some of its peacekeeping troops to protect the elder statesman here until the special
Afghan force is ready. Italian authorities say the revised security plan will delay the homecoming by at least three weeks.
The sudden change, which became known Saturday, irritated and embarrassed the leaders of Afghanistan's Western-backed interim government. They said they had
no say in the matter and grumbled privately about outside meddling.
Afghanistan is trying to recover from 23 years of mayhem, including a decade of Soviet occupation and the entrenchment of Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda terrorist
network during the Taliban regime that fell to U.S.-led forces last fall.
Zaher Shah, whose tranquil 40-year reign ended in a 1973 palace coup, has been invited by the new rulers to preside over a loya jirga. That traditional assembly is
to meet in June to chart a two-year transition to constitutional rule, but any further delay in Zaher Shah's arrival could undermine preparations for that event, Afghan
Fears That Afghans Will Doubt the King
"This delay will create doubts among Afghan people and damage their trust," said Zalmai Rassoul, Zaher Shah's secretary, who was fidgeting with yellow worry
beads while trying to plan the ex-king's homecoming. "People are starting to believe that he is not serious about coming to Afghanistan."
Rassoul said he had worked closely with Interior Minister Younis Qanooni and had been satisfied with plans by Qanooni's police to take over the former king's
security from Italian officials upon his arrival here.
"Total security does not exist anywhere, and it cannot be done in Afghanistan," Rassoul said. "But if I had thought the security was not satisfactory [for the former
king], I would have told him not to come."
The U.S., however, overruled Rassoul. The Americans are wary of Qanooni, whose ethnic Tajik faction resisted a special role for the former king, an ethnic
Pushtun. Qanooni's police force, they say, is a clumsy amalgam of Taliban-era cops and anti-Taliban militiamen of the Northern Alliance.
Plans for Zaher Shah's security were deemed "not entirely satisfactory," the senior U.S. official said. Now, it has been decided that the former king will get the same
kind of bodyguards as are assigned to the interim government's leader, Hamid Karzai, who is also Pushtun. The guards will be trained by Americans.
Until the guards are prepared, Italian military police in Kabul's 4,600-member British-led international peacekeeping force will protect Zaher Shah--just as Italian
police have been doing at the ex-king's villa outside Rome since 1973.
"The Italians have done a good job," said an official of another Western government. "He's still alive."
American and other Western officials would not speak on the record, in part because of the sensitivity involved in telling Afghans how to protect their own leaders.
Italian officials, once persuaded to delay the homecoming, took responsibility for the decision and put forward their own justification: They had received threats
against Zaher Shah's life, including one to shoot down the Italian plane that was to bring him to Afghanistan. Afghan officials found it difficult to argue in public about
As word of the postponement spread in Kabul, many of the capital's residents said they were hopeful that the deposed king would show up soon and that his
presence would do much to bind the nation's wounds.
Time Now Left to Clean Swimming Pool
Officials noted a bright side to the delay: They will have time to finish cleaning his swimming pool, install electrical wiring and plan his public appearances.
Refurbishing continued apace Sunday at his two-story Bauhaus-style residence--guarded by two Afghan police officers--and his royal ancestors' tomb on a hilltop
across town. Both sustained heavy rocket damage during decades of fighting.
"Maybe he comes; maybe he doesn't. Maybe he's scared; maybe he's sick," shrugged Mohammed Akbar, 29. Akbar's Gul Shan Photo Studio displays a popular
new calendar bearing a 1960s photo of the king and one of Ahmed Shah Masoud, the legendary Northern Alliance commander who was slain last year. "Maybe it's
better if the king doesn't come. He might have a heart attack when he sees all this destruction."
But others were more eager to have the king back. "Every leader after the king did his best to destroy Afghanistan," said Mohammed Sardar, 47, who was part of a
big crowd visiting the royal tomb Sunday. "They ended the monarchy, but I'm sure he's coming back. The date should not matter. This is his land, and he wants to
come tell us to stop fighting each other."
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