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Afghanistan gets rid of heavy arms in Panjshir
www.chinaview.cn 2005-03-06 16:54:53

    KABUL, March 6 (Xinhuanet) - Afghanistan has completed the cantonment of heavy weapons in the Panjshir valley, the former stronghold of late Afghan guerrilla commander Ahmad Shah Masoud and anti-Taliban fighters, a UN spokesman said here Sunday.

    "The collection of heavy weapons in the Panjshir valley is concluded on Friday with collection of 115 pieces in total," said spokesman Manoel de Almeida e Silva.

    Panjshir, 150 km north of Kabul had served as the main stronghold of late Afghan guerrilla commander Ahmad Shah Masoud during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in 1980s and later thecampaign against fundamentalist Taliban regime which was toppled in late 2001.

    "They have all been deactivated and are now in a secure compound in Jabul Saraj," Manoel added.

    So far 8,630 heavy weapons have been collected across the country and the process will continue in the future, according to the spokesman.

    Over 200 pieces of heavy weapons have been held in the ShindandDistrict, Herat province, and Kunduz province, which have beeen regarded as significant areas for storing heavy weapons.

    "Collection in both regions will begin within the next two weeks," he noted.

    Under a UN-backed Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration(DDR) program launched in October 2003, over 42,000 former combatants have been disarmed. Enditem     

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