International peacekeepers to control entire Afghanistan

The UN Security Council unanimously approved on Monday the expansion of the zone of responsibility of international forces for ensuring security in Afghanistan (AISEF) to the country's entire territory and prolonged their mandate for another 12 months.

Earlier, the task of the forces was to maintain order and tranquillity in the area of Kabul. But the Afghan government headed by Hamid Karzai asked the UN to expand the powers of the international contingent because the Taleban detachments had stepped up their activity in various regions of the country. Over the last two months their raids took the lives of more than 300 peoples.

The voting in the Security Council was conducted two weeks before the beginning of a large-scale UN-sanctioned programme of disarming the Afghan non-regular formations with the numerical strength of about 100,000. The AISEF will be guided by NATO to which the command over the forces went over last August.

The AISEF numbers 5,500 soldiers and officers from 29 countries. Apart from them, the operations against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda formations which hide in the mountainous regions of hard access of south-eastern Afghanistan and north-western Pakistan (the Suleimanov mountains region) are being conducted by about 10,000 US servicemen.

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