Dostum gives Up 45 Tanks, ammunition cache
Kabul, November 23, 2004 â€“ Uzbek Abdul Rashid Dostum gave up 45 tanks and a large ammunition cache as part of Afghanistan's disarmament drive. Representatives of Dostum, who controls much of the territory north of Kabul, handed over the tanks during a ceremony in the warlord's northern stronghold of Shiberghan on 21 November. Also, 330 soldiers from a militia loyal to Dostum handed over their weapons, said Rick Grant, a spokesman for the U.N.-sponsored disarmament program. Dostum gave up 40 ammunition depots in 10 locations in all.
"The amount of ammunition is very, very substantial and may be in the hundreds of tons," Grant said.
Afghanistan's estimated 60,000 irregular fighters were supposed to give up their arms according to international agreements signed after the fall of the Taliban in 2001. Some 23,000 Afghan fighters have handed over their weapons in order to join programs that offer training for new careers in farming or demining.