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Afghanistan: U.S. Military To Guard Karzai

Kabul, 22 July 2002 (RFE/RL) -- The office of Afghan Transitional Authority President Hamid Karzai says U.S. troops have been brought in to guard his Kabul presidential palace. Karzai's spokesman, Said Fazel Akbar, said today that safety concerns have increased because of the unsolved assasination of Vice President Abdul Qadir, who was killed earlier this month.

Akbar did not say how many U.S. soldiers are involved in the security operation. The Associated Press quotes unnamed officials as saying Karzai's new security detail includes about 50 men, including some U.S. special forces.

The U.S. military has declined comment.

Last week, international peacekeepers started training 240 Afghan bodyguards to protect Karzai's cabinet ministers and other senior officials.