Women welcomed back to Afghan police academy
By TODD PITMAN, ASSOCIATED PRESS
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - For the first time in a decade, Afghanistan's national police academy is training female officers to serve in the capital, interior ministry officials said Tuesday.
More than 60 women began a six-month training course several months ago at the police academy in Kabul and are expected to graduate in two months, Interior Minister Taj Mohammed Wardak said. "We need more policewomen, and we're asking more to come," Wardak told The Associated Press. "Eventually we want 50 percent of our police forces staffed by women."
The women will be deployed across the city at checkpoints, at the airport, in jails and as criminal investigators, interior ministry spokesman Alishah Paktiawal said.
Wardak said in the future, female police would also be trained in provinces outside the capital, but no date has been set.
Women have slowly begun returning to the work force since the hardline Taliban regime - which banned most females from jobs - was overthrown in a U.S.-led war last year.
Kabul Police Chief Basir Salangi said about 8,000 police officers are now working in the city, 600 of whom are women who were trained before a brutal four-year civil war broke out between rival factions in 1992.
Kabul's police academy officially reopened in August after it was refurbished with aid from Germany, which sent 48 new patrol cars - mostly green and white minivans - and a dozen officers to help train the Afghan police force.
Courses had not been taught for large numbers of potential cadets for a decade.
Afghan police face a difficult task in a nation where security remains shaky. In recent weeks, U.S. troops and international peacekeepers have fallen victim to grenade assaults in the city.
The multinational peacekeeping force of 4,800 soldiers helps keep a check on troublemakers with regular patrols through the city. The rest of Afghanistan is largely in the hands of local warlords. Banditry outside the capital is common.
Afghanistan Warns of Counterfeit New Money
VOA News 31 Dec 2002, 16:15 UTC
Old currency being burned in Kabul
Afghanistan's central bank governor is warning security forces to be on the lookout for counterfeit money as the country's new currency takes over on Thursday.
Anwar-ul-Haq Ahadi says forgeries of the new bills are already in circulation.
The new afghani was introduced three months ago to replace the old afghani, which government officials say was illegally overprinted. The overprinting stripped the money of value, causing massive inflation and requiring huge stacks of bills to carry out even minor transactions.
The new bills have a value 1,000 times greater than the old, and are currently trading at a value of 46 afghanis to the U.S. dollar.
A three-month program for Afghans to turn in the old bank notes for the new ends January 2.
Afghanistan: More than two million return home this year
ISLAMABAD, 31 December (IRIN) - As the year ends, more than two million Afghan refugees and displaced persons have returned to their country and communities from the neighbouring states and camps inside Afghanistan in one of the largest repatriation efforts in decades.
"It's more than we initially expected. Of course, we do not promote [repatriation] or push people to go back to their country," Maki Shinohara, a spokeswoman for the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told IRIN from the Afghan capital, Kabul, on Tuesday.
According to the refugee agency, more than 1.8 million Afghans went home with the help of UNHCR from Pakistan, Iran and Central Asian states.
Some 250,000 Afghans returned to their places of origin from the displacement camps across Afghanistan. In addition, another 200,000 displaced Afghans rejoined their original communities without any assistance.
UNHCR initially planned for some 1.2 million Afghans to return home, but the returnees exceeded that number by June, only 15 weeks after the beginning of the operation. "It is a good sign for the future of Afghanistan," Shinohara said.
Those returning to date have received assistance in transportation and a cash grant of between US$ 5 and $30 depending on the size of the family and the length of their journey. In addition to this, plastic sheeting, hygienic items and wheat flour from the UN World Food Programme were provided.
Of the two million returnees, more than 1.5 million returned from Pakistan, followed by about 300,000 from Iran. A further 9,000 Afghans returned from its northern Central Asian neighbour, Tajikistan, another 283 from Turkmenistan, 93 from Uzbekistan, and 68 from Kyrgyzstan. Repatriation levels, however, have dropped significantly since the onset of winter.
According to UNHCR, this return to Afghanistan was the largest such repatriation in three decades - from the time that the 10 million people who had fled from the disintegrating region of East Pakistan into India in the early 1970s and then returned to the newly created state of Bangladesh.
Repatriation is set to continue into 2003 with a further 1.5 million Afghans due to return. However, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbers has cautioned that "huge tasks lie ahead". Around 4 million Afghans remain abroad, and with an anticipated budget of around $200 million for next year, UNHCR is expected to help in getting them home.
The top UNHCR official in Afghanistan, Filippo Grandi, recently warned that lack of adequate funding could jeopardise repatriations planned for next year. "2003 has to be the year of development and reconstruction," Grandi told reporters in
Geneva, adding that immediate progress in development and reconstruction, as well as better security, were key to the success of the international effort to put Afghanistan back on track.
Flood of Afghan Returnees Continues
By Chris Kraul Los Angeles Times December 30 2002
KABUL, Afghanistan Modern history's second-largest repatriation the return of Afghans to their homeland will continue next year at a diminished but still staggering rate, with about 1.2 million refugees expected to make the trek back, the United Nations said Sunday.
As many as 6 million Afghans more than 20% of the population fled their native country during the 23 years of warfare that ended with the defeat of the Taliban by U.S.-led forces last year.
Almost a third of those who left about 1.8 million people came flooding back in the past year, 50% more than anyone expected. An additional 250,000 internally displaced Afghans returned to their homes with U.N. assistance. That wave of humanity is second in size only to the 9 million people who returned to Bangladesh in the 1970s after that nation achieved independence from Pakistan, according to the United Nations.
The U.N.'s Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees, the principal international aid agency for refugees here, spent $271 million on food, transportation, housing and health assistance this year and will spend an estimated $194 million in 2003, spokeswoman Maki Shinohara said Sunday.
As many as 100,000 refugees a week were streaming in during the peak month of May. Although most of the returnees have gone on to their hometowns or regions, tens of thousands remain in U.N. refugee camps, including 30,000 each in Spin Buldak on the Pakistani border and at another sprawling camp in the west near Herat.
Ethnic violence in some areas of Afghanistan, especially in the north, makes the return of some Pushtun refugees still too risky, the U.N. said.
Because the U.N. was overwhelmed by the number of returnees, much of the aid it budgeted for reconstruction of schools, housing and clinics was used instead for emergency relief, including food and clothing.
As a result, the U.N. has joined the chorus of Afghan government officials and international agencies pleading for new donations of reconstruction aid.
Afghanistan was slated to receive $1.8 billion in international aid in 2002 and expects $1.2 billion in 2003 if pledges by donor countries at a Tokyo conference earlier this year are made good.
In a recent interview, Afghan Minister of Planning Haji Mohammed Mukhaqiq said he was optimistic that his country will receive as much as $2 billion in foreign aid next year, based on unofficial pledges made at a conference this month in Oslo.
Pakistan, Afghanistan to look for each other's citizens in jails; may release many
Tue Dec 31, 6:02 AM ET AP
PESHAWAR, Pakistan - Pakistan and Afghanistan will search their prisons for each other's citizens with the aim of freeing many of those being held for petty crimes, officials said Tuesday.
Pakistan's search will focus on its North West Frontier province — an area considered a stronghold of Islamic militants, and where intelligence agencies say remnants of Afghan's deposed Taliban rulers and their al-Qaida allies may be seeking refuge.
The reciprocal jail search deal was made Monday at a meeting between the province's Chief Minister Akram Durrani and Afghan Information and Culture Minister Sayed Makhdoom Raheen in Peshawar, the provincial capital, an official said on condition of anonymity.
Raheen was in Peshawar to open an Afghan cultural center.
Authorities in the Pakistani province said their first step would be to determine how many Afghans are being held in their prisons and on what charges — if any.
Durrani, a leader from a hardline Islamic alliance that governs the Pakistani region, reportedly told the Afghan minister that many Pakistanis being held in Afghanistan had been in the war-torn country for business or were doing Islamic missionary work when they were arrested.
There was no word when the prisoner releases may start under the new initiative.
Citing humanitarian considerations, Afghanistan released some Pakistanis from its jails after U.S.-led coalition forces deposed the Taliban regime.
Several thousand Pakistanis from tribal northwest Pakistan crossed into Afghanistan to fight with the Taliban. Many were captured and ended up in jails run by anti-Taliban warlords.
Human rights groups have criticized the conditions under which they have been held.
Afghanistan's Toughest Battle Lies Ahead
Tribal loyalties may trump the needs of a land the U.S. military is helping to rebuild.
By David Zucchino Los Angeles Times December 31 2002
This is one in an occasional series chronicling untold stories from the war in Afghanistan.
KABUL, Afghanistan More than 14 months ago, the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan produced swift and stunning results.
Small teams of Special Forces soldiers and CIA paramilitary officers targeted the enemy for U.S. warplanes while giving millions of dollars in cash and weapons to proxy forces headed by commanders of the Northern Alliance resistance. In a matter of weeks, the Taliban and Al Qaeda were routed and a pro-American government was installed. It was an improvised strategy that hitched U.S. combat technology to Afghan boots on the ground.
Today, the postwar phase of Operation Enduring Freedom is still being improvised, but with less dramatic results and with long-term success far from certain.
As American policymakers lay plans for a possible invasion of Iraq, the Afghan experience is a reminder that the toughest war is often waged long after the fiercest combat ends. Even with the enemy defeated on the battlefield, the fight to stabilize and rebuild a fractured nation can be as draining as any battle fought with infantry and warplanes.
U.S. commanders in Afghanistan are being asked to direct an ambitious effort at nation-building — the ambiguous and taxing Clinton-era policy ridiculed by candidate George W. Bush. The United States is doubling the number of civil affairs officers assigned to help build schools and clinics, dig wells and provide humanitarian aid in a country where most people are illiterate and live in mud huts.
American combat units, meanwhile, are harassed almost daily by haphazard rocket fire and hit-and-run attacks. Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters enjoy freedom of movement in the lawless tribal highlands of Pakistan, aided by sympathizers in Afghanistan's rugged eastern border regions. Though several top Al Qaeda leaders have been killed or captured, Osama bin Laden and Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar are still at large.
Like U.S. troops in Vietnam, American soldiers here find it difficult to distinguish ordinary villagers from enemy operatives. Lt. Col. Martin Schweitzer, a battalion commander in eastern Afghanistan, says the enemy hides among civilians and spies on American troop movements and methods from villages across the border in Pakistan.
They use cell phones, walkie-talkies, whistles and even mirrors to warn confederates of U.S. combat patrols, he said.
"They may not have the same type education that we have, but they are incredibly smart," Schweitzer said. "They are not chumps."
Throughout the country, security is tenuous. Two Afghan government ministers have been assassinated; their killers remain free. President Hamid Karzai, who has survived an assassination attempt, is guarded by an American security detail. His government has yet to extend its authority beyond Kabul, the capital.
The U.S. military commitment is open-ended. Lt. Gen. Dan K. McNeill, commander of coalition forces here, said it will probably be another 18 months to two years before U.S. troop levels, now at about 8,000, can begin to be reduced. He said he expected American forces to remain in Afghanistan, at gradually diminishing levels, for years to come.
A Year of Upheaval
From reporting across Afghanistan over the past year, a portrait emerges of an American effort that has produced profound changes in the lives of ordinary Afghans but also has left a residue of bitterness and mistrust.
The oppressive Taliban regime has been overthrown. Al Qaeda terrorist camps have been dismantled. Twenty-three years of war have come to an end, and one of the world's poorest countries is inching toward modernity.
But a military campaign that began with a flourish has evolved into a sometimes intrusive police action in a nation with a tradition of fierce resistance to outsiders and a virtually endless supply of weaponry. U.S. forces are seizing and destroying arms caches — 1.5 million pounds so far — but warlords' militias continue to rule by the gun in the absence of government authority.
In part because of airstrikes in the fall of 2001 that killed, by various estimates, several hundred to a few thousand civilians, there is lingering resentment of Americans — especially in ethnically Pushtun areas in the east and south. While Afghans express gratitude to the United States for ridding the country of the Taliban and Al Qaeda, some say they fear U.S. troops will become a long-term occupying army like the Soviet forces that invaded more than 20 years ago and remained for a decade.
Those misgivings have been compounded by American military support for warlords, most of them Tajiks from the Northern Alliance who helped defeat the Pushtun-dominated Taliban.
The Karzai government is dominated by Tajiks from the Panjshir Valley, stirring further skepticism among Pushtuns about its commitment to the stated U.S. goal of a democratic, multiethnic government.
One measure of popular sentiment is the photos hanging in Afghanistan's many bazaars. Outside the capital, there are far more photos of local warlords than of Karzai. Even inside Kabul, shops and public spaces are dominated not by photos of the president, but of Ahmed Shah Masoud, the Tajik who commanded the Northern Alliance until his assassination by Al Qaeda two days before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
McNeill calls the warlords "regional leaders." In a recent interview, he said the U.S. military will continue to work closely with them because they provide stability and security. The U.S. goal, he said, is to dismantle the militias once the U.S.-trained national army is deployed and the central government projects authority nationwide.
But for now, the warlords enjoy robust American support. U.S. Special Forces teams conduct operations accompanied by warlords' militiamen and live in compounds guarded by them. Because many warlords also serve as provincial governors, U.S. military civil affairs teams must work with them to set up reconstruction and humanitarian projects — thus burnishing their images among the local population.
McNeill said the warlords back the central government and have promised to disband their private armies or integrate them into the evolving national army — though they have collected an estimated $300 million in taxes and duties that should have gone to the Karzai government they claim to support. The government is so strapped for cash that workers are paid only sporadically.
"They each have interests that are particular to their regions, but they are also interested in seeing this country move forward," McNeill said of the warlords. "They realize that a centrally controlled army will likely bring more security and stability than anything they've seen in the last 23 years.... They're simply waiting for the central government to show how this will work."
Four battalions of the nascent national army, with 300 to 400 men each, have been trained by U.S. Special Forces troops since last summer, and two more are in training. Some units have been posted outside the capital for the first time.
In interviews, army trainees reject tribal and ethnic ties and express loyalty to the national government.
"This is our homeland, and I want to defend it," said Farhid Sharzai, 26, a Pushtun recruit. Abdul Hanan Mufakir, 32, a Tajik, said: "The country is like a mother who must be protected by all her children."
In Lebanon 20 years ago, recruits in a U.S.-trained national army also repudiated narrow ethnic interests. But that army, dominated by Christian officers from a Christian government supported by the United States, collapsed along ethnic and religious lines in a civil war in which American military personnel were killed by Muslim terrorists.
A Population in Need
As the Afghan army slowly develops, the civilian population remains mired in poverty. At least 1.3 million Afghans will need food aid to survive the winter, according to the United Nations' World Food Program. Afghanistan, a country of about27 million, has been overwhelmed by 1.8 million returning refugees, many of whose homes were destroyed or overrun by squatters.
Of the $1.8 billion in aid promised by donor nations this year, $1.5 billion has arrived — but little has reached rural areas where needs are greatest. A total of $4.5 billion has been pledged over the next five years.
Economic constraints and the lack of central authority have been keenly felt by Zaira Mahdat, headmistress of a small girls school in the provincial capital of Chaghcharan in central Afghanistan.
She said she has not been paid for six months. Local officials steal the meager supplies sent by the Education Ministry or foreign aid groups, Mahdat said as she stood in a classroom devoid of desks, chairs or books. Islamic fundamentalists are trying to shut down the school, saying girls should not be educated.
Grappling With Graft
Corruption is endemic, complicating the jobs of the 350 to 400 American civil affairs soldiers in Afghanistan.
In Herat, a civil affairs officer said that two Western aid organizations have left the city because of thefts of relief supplies and kickback demands by functionaries appointed by Ismail Khan, the regional warlord. A warehouse guarded by Khan's gunmen was looted of wheat one night, the officer said, and medical supplies donated to a hospital turned up for sale in a pharmacy. It is common to see bags of donated wheat sold in bazaars.
Civil affairs projects are limited to $300,000 each. The Pentagon has provided a civil affairs budget of about $10 million, versus $12.6 billion for Afghan combat operations in the fiscal year that ended in September. The U.S. has contributed $455 million in Afghan aid this year.
A senior U.S. military official said the American effort is not "nation-building." He described it as "helping provide the Afghan people assistance for their own growth."
Col. Roger King, the chief U.S. military spokesman in Afghanistan, described the current mission as "to kill or capture Al Qaeda and those who support them, train the [national army] and deny the use of Afghanistan as a sanctuary by the terrorists. In support of this mission, we work to provide an environment where Afghanistan can rebuild."
Against this backdrop, U.S. combat forces — assisted by 4,700 troops from the International Security Assistance Force of peacekeepers — are trying to hold the country together until the central government can step in.
Most of the American military focus is in the east, where Al Qaeda and Taliban holdouts slip back and forth across the Pakistani border, moving weapons, money and bomb-making materials.
U.S. infantry units mount combat sweeps through the same border areas again and again. Villagers say Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters, assisted by local sympathizers, return as soon as the American forces leave — though the senior military official said that "each time we go back, the conditions improve."
Under military rules of engagement, U.S. units can enter Pakistan only if fired on by enemy forces that are inside Pakistan or are fleeing there. But because Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf is threatened by Islamic fundamentalists, the United States has limited its forces in Pakistan to small teams of FBI and CIA agents and Special Forces troops.
The situation requires substantial U.S. military operations on Afghanistan's eastern flank because, as Col. James Huggins, a U.S. commander, put it: "I don't have enough soldiers to set up a picket line along the border." (The U.S. plans to finance 177 border stations, to be manned by Afghan border police who are now being trained.)
The enemy's refusal to fight American forces face to face has left troops frustrated. Capt. Clay Novak, who has led an airborne company on sweeps along the Pakistani border, said he once assumed that Taliban and Al Qaeda holdouts would challenge the Americans.
"They preach a good game about dying for their cause, but the fact is they've run away every time," Novak said after a mission in which his men found weapons but no enemy fighters.
"They're not going to go up against us," said Spc. John Ferrante, dressed in body armor and hauling weapons during a combat mission a mile from the Pakistani border. "So as long as we're here, these areas will be cleared."
With land mines, snipers, car bombs and tons of unexploded ordnance, Afghanistan remains a dangerous place. Earlier this month, two Special Forces soldiers were wounded when a grenade was tossed into their parked car in downtown Kabul. The same week, an American soldier on patrol was shot and killed by a sniper in eastern Afghanistan.
Since Operation Enduring Freedom began, the United States has suffered 26 combat deaths and 137 wounded. Another 28 soldiers have died and 114 have been injured in aircraft crashes and other accidents.
During a visit to Afghanistan this month, Gen. Tommy Franks, head of the U.S. Central Command, said threats remain despite the decisive U.S. military victory more than a year ago.
"While things seem to be OK for Afghanistan ... we still see a lot of problems," Franks said. "The truth of it is that while a lot has been done, this is Afghanistan. We're going to have to stay with it for as long as it takes."
Times staff writers Chris Kraul in Afghanistan, Paul Watson in Pakistan and Esther Schrader, John Hendren and Mary Curtius in Washington contributed to this report.
Five injured in Afghanistan explosions
KABUL, Dec 31 (AFP) - Five people have been injured in two separate explosions in Afghanistan, state media reported Tuesday, blaming the blasts on ongoing security problems in the troubled country.
In the town of Chaharikar in central Parwan province, three members of the same family were wounded Monday when a bomb planted in a radio set exploded in their house, the official Bakhter news agency said, giving no further details.
And in Shindand in the western province of Herat, two people were injured when a landmine detonated, Bakhter said. Shindand has been the scene of recent violent rivalries between powerful local commanders.
In Kabul, a large cache of weapons, including 88 mortar rounds and 30 rocket-propelled grenades, has been discovered in a house in the capital Kabul, a British military spokesman said Tuesday.
Commander Geoff Wintle of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) which patrols the Afghan capital said authorities were alerted to the weapons on Monday by a resident. They were later removed for safe disposal.
In a separate incident on the same day, police in the city opened fire on a taxi which refused to stop at a checkpoint. The vehicle fled the scene and there were no casualties, Wintle said.
Police were also called after another shooting at Paghman, a scenic spot on the western fringes of Kabul, he said.
"ISAF were informed by the police but were not involved as it was discovered to be a domestic affair."
Wintle said the peacekeeping force would not increase its patrols to cover any New Year celebrations in Kabul.
According to Afghan Interior Minister Taj Mohammad Wardak, local police would be beefing up security as a standard precaution against attacks targeted at foreigners, of which there have been several in recent weeks.
Afghanistan, an overwhelmingly Muslim country, uses the Islamic calendar and does not apply any particular significance to January 1.
The country has been beset by security problems since last year's collapse of the Taliban militia under an ongoing US-led military campaign as Afghan President Hamid Karzai struggles to exert his authority.
Pakistan Weighed Using Nuclear Weapons
KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) Pakistan's president indicated Monday he had been prepared to use nuclear weapons against India earlier this year, but a spokesman later backed off the assertion, saying that was not what he meant when he spoke of non-conventional war.
In a speech to Pakistani Air Force veterans, President Pervez Musharraf said he personally sent messages to Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee through visiting leaders that if Indian troops moved a single step across the disputed frontier, ``they should not expect a conventional war from Pakistan.''
Musharraf's comments appeared to confirm fears voiced last winter that the world was close to witnessing its first bilateral nuclear war. But hours later, a top official said the mention of non-conventional war was not a reference to the use of nuclear weapons.
Musharraf meant the people of Pakistan together with the conventional army would ``neutralize the enemy's offensive,'' army spokesman Gen. Rashid Quereshi said. ``Nowhere did he say that Pakistan would use nuclear weapons at all.''
The danger point came when India and Pakistan sent troops to their shared border after a deadly attack on the Indian Parliament last December. New Delhi blamed Islamabad for helping to mastermind the assault that killed 14 people, while Pakistan denied playing any part.
India also possesses nuclear arms, and the situation so worried Washington at the time just as Pakistan became a key ally in the war on terror that it warned Americans to leave India.
During the heightened tension between the nuclear-armed neighbors, the U.S. Ambassador in New Delhi, Robert Blackwell, said there was a chance though a ``rather small'' one that the conflict between India and Pakistan could have led to nuclear war.
Blackwell said the threat of nuclear war caused the United States to speed up a warning to its citizens to leave India. Washington had long advised Americans to stay away from Pakistan.
The two nations had already fought three wars in 50 years and it seemed another war was imminent, until intensive international diplomacy brought the neighbors back from the brink.
India's army chief said Monday that Pakistan's nuclear capability would not have deterred it.
``We were absolutely ready to go to war. Our forces were well located,'' Press Trust of India quoted Gen. Sunderajan Padmanabhan as saying. ``Such a decision (on whether to go to war) is ultimately a political decision.''
Tensions eased recently as both sides said they were stepping back from their war footing. After massing over a million troops along their common border, India announced in October that it began pulling back its troops. Last month Pakistan said it was doing the same.
India and Pakistan conducted underground nuclear tests in 1998, prompting international condemnation and sanctions against both countries. But the economic penalties were lifted after Pakistan became an ally of the anti-terrorist coalition following the Sept. 11 attacks.
The United States was particularly anxious to avoid an Indian-Pakistani war at a time when it depended heavily on Pakistani support as it waged its war in Afghanistan, Pakistan's neighbor to the west.
India and Pakistan insist they're responsible atomic powers. Each has ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads deep into each other's territory.
Pakistan and India share a 1,800-mile border, a section of which is a cease-fire line that divides Kashmir. Both claim the largely Muslim region in its entirety and have fought two wars over it.
Pakistan-backed militants have been waging a bloody secessionist uprising in Indian Kashmir since 1989 that has killed more than 61,000 people. Militants want either outright independence or union with Islamic Pakistan. Kashmir is India's only Muslim majority state in the predominantly Hindu country.
4 Afghan Drug Smugglers Killed on Tajik Border
VOA News 31 Dec 2002, 20:27 UTC
Tajik border guards patrolling the country's tense border with Afghanistan have killed four Afghan drug smugglers.
A spokesman for the border guards says the shootout took place late Monday, when their unit spotted four people trying to enter Tajikistan. The border guards seized a quantity of drugs, as well as a Kalashnikov rifle with spare cartridges.
Tajikistan has a 1500 kilometer long border with Afghanistan. The former Soviet republic has become a major trafficking route for illegal drugs being transported from Afghanistan to Russia and western Europe.
Under a 1992 agreement with the government in Dushanbe, Russia keeps more than 20,000 troops in Tajikistan to help patrol the Afghan border to deal with arms and drug smugglers and block the movement of Islamic extremists.
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