Carjackings, Shoot-outs and Banditry

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December 17, 2001/Vol. 158 No. 25 Carjackings, Shoot-outs and Banditry Letter from Jalalabad: As the city descends into chaos, some are actually nostalgic for the Taliban† BY MATTHEW FORNEY Delawar loved his car, a blue toyota 4x4 that chewed up the unpaved roads around Jalalabad. Two weeks ago a group of bearded men wrapped in shawls pointed their Kalashnikovs at him and demanded the keys. Now he watches every day as armed militia drive his car through Jalalabad, the main city in eastern Afghanistan and the summer residence of the former King. Delawar hasnít reported the incident to the police because there are no police. There is a security chief, a warlord who returned a fortnight ago with his supporters from Pakistan to reclaim the city, bloodlessly, from the fleeing Taliban. So Delawar asked him for help. "I told him that his men had stolen my car and Iíd like it back," he says. But the new leadership, which is loosely affiliated to the Northern Alliance, refuses to return the automobile.

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