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Program Information
 Unreported World 
 Regular Show
 For non-profit use only.
 No Advisories - program content screened and verified.
Reporter Peter Oborne and Director Alex Nott travel to the Afghan capital to find a city under siege, with suicide bombings, shootings and kidnappings on the increase. As Kabul spirals into the type of violence and chaos that tore apart Baghdad,
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Unreported World goes beyond the politicians to reveal what everyday life is like for ordinary people imprisoned in the city. Until recently, Kabul had largely escaped the violence that has plagued the rest of the country. But resurgent Taliban and increasingly powerful criminal gangs are creating levels of instability and lawlessness that many liken to the period before the Taliban's rise to power. Afghan security forces have shut half of the city's main roads and erected checkpoints on the others in an attempt to stop the attacks. However, Taliban insurgents are closing a noose around the city and launching regular attacks inside it. The team arrives at the site of the latest suicide bombing at a bus depot, which has killed two people. One injured boy tells Oborne that the bomb was aimed at an international convoy, but, as usual, it's ordinary Afghans who make up the majority of victims. One local taxi driver tells Oborne that, like the majority of the population, he is a prisoner in the city. If he tries to drive out of Kabul, he'll be stopped by the Taliban and killed. At a lorry depot to the south of the city, one driver reveals the dangers his colleagues work under. He's been attacked several times while driving to Kandahar and in the last year, seven truck drivers, all close friends of his, have been murdered. And, he alleges, it's not just the Taliban who are attacking convoys. He claims that at each police checkpoint, demands for money are made, and that after dark, the police themselves conduct armed robberies. The team hears claims from other residents that the authorities are involved, together with criminal gangs, in kidnapping and extortion. One doctor tells Oborne that he was kidnapped by men who identified themselves as intelligence officers. They tortured him before demanding a $200,000 ransom. He claims the authorities never investigated the abduction, and he believes the police and government officials were involved. He now lives under armed guard and has moved his family to Pakistan for their own safety, telling Oborne that life was much better under Taliban control. The team talks to a police chief about these allegations. He says officers are not involved in kidnappings, and says that some kidnappers use police vehicles and uniforms to kidnap their victims. He says there is some corruption, but it is being cracked down on as much as possible. Driving back, the team's car is surrounded by children begging for money, saying that they have no other way of feeding their families. Oborne and Nott travel with one girl, seven-year-old Solama, to her house. Her mother says things are so desperate because there are no jobs in the city. Her husband has been reduced to picking up rubbish for a living. And, she says, life was better under the Taliban. Improving women's rights in Afghanistan is a key plank of UK and US policy. However, pupils at a girls' school tell the team that the security situation is reversing advances, with many parents now unwilling to let their daughters leave their houses to go to school, for fear of kidnap, rape or suicide bombing. As the Taliban gains strength, many girls who took off their burkhas are now putting them back on.

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00:24:11 English 2009-05-01
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