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Britain's Foreign Secretary in Afghanistan for Security Talks - 2003-06-30


British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw is in the Afghan capital, Kabul, Monday for security talks with the country's leaders.

The two-day trip is expected to focus on Britain's role in helping to stabilize lawless regions beyond Kabul, and to curb narcotics trafficking.

British officials have already announced they will send a team of 50 soldiers and civilians to the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif in July to help with reconstruction efforts.

More than 5,000 coalition troops are stationed in the Afghan capital, but Britain and the United States have been unwilling to expand the operation in Kabul to the violent provinces ruled by local warlords.

Meanwhile, in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad Monday, security officials said several rockets fired at buildings caused some damage but no casualties.

The attacks took place in a neighborhood where the United Nations children's relief agency is located. No group has claimed responsibility.

Jalalabad is on the road to neighboring Pakistan and has been the scene of several rocket attacks and bomb blasts since the fall of the Taleban in late 2001.

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