Afghanistan: January 8, 2002

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U.S. troops searched al Qaeda camps and caves outside Kandahar and in the east near the Pakistan border. The search has turned up documents, laptop computers, cell phones and some al Qaeda prisoners. The al Qaeda camps and caves have proved to be an excellent source of information about world wide al Qaeda operations. Al Qaeda members did not make much effort to destroy documents or computers containing information. Allowing Afghans to make these searches led to much valuable stuff (false documents, computers) being looted by the Afghans for sale on the black market. 

Afghans report that Taliban leader Omar is in central Afghanistan. Information travels fast in Afghanistan, gossip and news are popular items carried by travelers. These reports indicate that Omar is not willing to surrender, or even negotiate about it. Omar is also thought to be carrying millions of dollars in cash taken from government coffers. 

The World Bank estimates that it will take $15 billion in foreign aid over the next ten years to rebuild the country. Most of the investment would be in health care, education, infrastructure (roads, water supply) and agriculture. Some 85 percent of the population lives off the land (farming and herding.)

 

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