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Alliance Seeking UN Help in Building Broad-based Government in Kabul - 2001-11-13

The Foreign Minister of Afghanistan's Northern Alliance says it is committed to a broad-based government in Afghanistan, and will ask for U.N. help to establish it.

Northern Alliance Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah says Alliance commanders never intended to enter Kabul. He said they were forced to do so after the Taleban abandoned the city and unruly elements began causing trouble.

Looting broke out as the Taleban withdrew from Kabul. There were also scattered attacks from Taleban stragglers and small groups of Arabs, Pakistani's and other foreign Taleban supporters who stayed behind in the capital.

Mr. Abdullah told a news conference in Kabul that he believes as many as 8,000 Taleban fighters left Kabul. He says the Northern Alliance has begun the process of building a broad-based post-Taleban government, but Afghans will need outside help to achieve that goal.

"In that regard we have contacts with different Afghan groups outside Afghanistan for the formation of an interim government, and for the formation of a broad-based government and also for establishing a mechanism for representation of the people in a future system. We have also invited the United Nations to send their teams to Kabul in order to help us in the peace process."

Mr. Abdullah says the Taleban will not be invited to participate in any future government in Afghanistan.

He also denied reports that Northern Alliance troops in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif had massacred at least 100 young men who had recently joined the Taleban. U.N. officials say the killings took place in a school as Northern Alliance fighters captured the city last week. They also say there has been widespread looting in Mazar-e-Sharif in recent days.

Former Afghan President Burhannudin Rabbani issued a statement urging Northern Alliance commanders to insure the security of their newly captured territory saying the "entire world is watching." Mr. Rabbani also says Afghanistan's new government should include all Afghans, regardless of ethnic or religious backgrounds.