Gul Agha, the new governor of Kandahar, claimed that the official total number of civilian deaths caused by the US bombing raids against the city was in the region of 50 or 60. The declarations were made in the governor’s palace in the city on Monday at a press conference.
He added that he knew where Mohammad Omar was but that the secret services were detailed to take care of his arrest and refused to give any further details.
Foreign journalists confirm that there is widespread damage in Kandahar due to the bombing, the worst-hit areas being the airport, the roads and the Arab zone, where the Al-Qaeda forces were concentrated. These, however, as in Kunduz, had vanished by the time the anti-Taleban militia entered the city.
Now, after three days of fire-fights between the rival anti-Taleban factions, calm reigns in the city and Gul Agha claims that his first priority is law and order. Visitors to the city are confronted with a scenario in which every man in the street is armed with an automatic weapon and the new governor stated “while there are armed men in the streets, there can be no law and order”. He said it would be a question of days before the only weapons to be seen would be those of the police.
The US forces are not welcomed in the city and are stationed outside. Gul Agha declared that they were not necessary and that the new authorities in Afghanistan were trying to create a situation of normality on their own, without interference by external forces.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru /strong>