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19 April 2005 -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai says the government will sweep provincial officials out of office if complaints against them over corruption prove true.

Karzai said in Kabul today that senior officials will soon fan out across the country to scrutinize administration in the provinces.

Speaking to an audience of Islamic scholars, Karzai said the government has decided to study each of Afghanistan's provinces separately, and if there is need for "wholesale reform," then new individuals will be sent out.

Karzai said it would take up to 15 years to attain efficient government.

The president has made fighting corruption a priority since taking office in October.

(Reuters)
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