Afghanistan: February 21, 2002

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Civilians are fleeing fighting in northern Afghanistan between Northern Alliance militias and local Pushtuns who had moved up there during the years of Taliban rule. Other Pushtuns, who have been in the region for generations are being drawn into the fighting. In addition, there have been battles between Uzbek and Tajik militias over who would control different areas. The central government has not been able to muster the strength to suppress this feuding.

A British army patrol in Kabul was fired on, the British soldiers fired back. 

A CIA report asserts that Afghanistan is liable to fall back into anarchy unless the central government has the means to impose order among the many feuding warlords. The Afghan government has been asking for a larger peacekeeping force to help out until a new national army could be trained and organized over the next six months. The nations supplying peacekeepers may go for this, but no one has made a commitment yet. 

Villagers north of Kandahar alerted U.S. troops to the presence of a cache of 27 new (still in their shipping containers) Russian SA-7 and similar Chinese HN-5 shoulder fired surface to air missiles. While these are older models, they would still be effective against commercial transports and helicopters that were not carrying countermeasures (missile detectors and flares.) Troops from the U.S. 101st division came and destroyed the missiles. 

 

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