Anarchy as Taliban lose control : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Anarchy as Taliban lose control By Ahmed Rashid (Filed: 21/09/2001)

LAW and order was breaking down in Kabul yesterday as Taliban soldiers and poverty-stricken civilians carried out armed daylight robberies and looted houses left empty by people who have fled.

In many areas of the Afghan capital, discipline among the Taliban appeared to be collapsing ahead of an expected American assault.

"Armed men are entering people's homes under the guise of checking to see if they have arms, are watching a film or listening to music [both banned activities]," said one resident.

"The owner of the house lets them in because he has nothing to hide. Then he and the male family members are rounded up and the women are forced to hand over cash or jewellery."

Another complained: "I have lost everything." Crime was almost stamped out in Kabul after the Taliban seized it in 1996. They cut the limbs off thieves or hanged them from lamp posts.

Bringing law and order back to an anarchic country was one of the main reasons for the Taliban's early popularity. The breakdown of law and order demonstrates the rapid collapse of the militia's hierarchy.

It appears that soldiers are no longer obeying their officers.

-- Martin Thompson (, September 21, 2001

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