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UN stockpiled aid awaiting defeat of Taliban
ISLAMABAD, Nov 11: Like a humanitarian invasion force, UN aid organizations had been stockpiling supplies on the Uzbek border with Afghanistan awaiting the Taliban's defeat in Mazar-i-Sharif, the key city in the north of Afghanistan.
Although the bridge from Termez, Uzbekistan across the Amu Darya remains closed pending a formal decision by Uzbekistan on opening, aid organizations said on Sunday they expected convoys of trucks to trundle over the border into Afghanistan within days with food, tents and other essentials.
The Taliban lost Mazar-i-Sharif to the Northern Alliance on Friday.
"Certainly if there was a route open from Uzbekistan there would be lots of opportunities for humanitarian organizations to help people inside Afghanistan," said Yusuf Hassan, spokesman for the UN Higher Commissioner for Refugees.
"We have been stockpiling things in Termez. We have a warehouse and we have been preparing for the past few weeks - tents, blankets."
The World Food Programme was also anticipating that the Taliban would be driven from Mazar-i-Sharif.
Khaled Mansour, spokesman for WFP, said more than 1,000 tonnes of food were already stockpiled in Termez and most of a shipment of 15,000 tonnes in Kazakhstan was being transferred to the river port for movement into Afghanistan.
The aid organizations had shown confidence in a Taliban defeat that would open the route from Uzbekistan at a time when doubts about the effectiveness of US bombing support - and the alliance's ability to fight - were constantly being voiced in the media. -Reuters
-- Jackson Brown (Jackson_Brown@deja.com), November 11, 2001
islam - a - BAD! Ok!Ok! CAn't i even make a joke, without you wanting to cut my head off? .....sorry! subtitle> "Top ten ways to get on a Jihad hit list."
-- jimmie-the-weed (email@example.com), November 11, 2001.