Kabul's nameless streets top challenge for police

KABUL Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:05pm IST

Afghan boys ride a bicycle under a plastic sheet during a rainy day in Kabul April 19, 2012. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

Afghan boys ride a bicycle under a plastic sheet during a rainy day in Kabul April 19, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Mohammad Ismail

Related Topics

KABUL (Reuters) - The maze of nameless streets and numberless houses in Afghanistan's capital is making it difficult to catch insurgents and thwart attacks, prompting Kabul's police chief to ask on Sunday that a system be installed.

Most of the city's dishevelled, dust-filled streets have no names, and of those that do, few are marked. For the majority of Kabul's four million inhabitants, navigating is a trick of good memory and a stream of questions to locals and passers-by.

"I have repeatedly asked the Mayor of Kabul to create a system," Ayoub Salangi told Reuters. "But it is a vast project and requires a lot of money."

Eleven years into the NATO-led war against Taliban insurgents, Kabul still has no official street map.

"From a security point of view, not having street names is devastating. There is no way to know where anyone is," said the 47-year-old lieutenant-general, who oversees Kabul's 14,000-strong police force.

Though Kabul was one of the first areas in Afghanistan to have security responsibilities transferred from NATO in 2008, confidence in the local force is eroding as most foreign troops look to leave the country by the end of 2014.

Kabul's security forces were praised by NATO mentors and local authorities earlier this month for repelling a coordinated attack by insurgents who took aim at foreign embassies and the parliament, suffering relatively low losses.

Salangi blamed weak Afghan intelligence for allowing the insurgents to slip under the watch of security forces and into the capital.

(Reporting by Amie Ferris-Rotman and Hamid Shalizi Editing by Maria Golovnina)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Kerry in India

TOP SHOWCASE

Tax Trouble

Tax Trouble

SpiceJet in talks with tax authorities.  Full Article 

Chopper Deal

Chopper Deal

CBI to press ahead with Finmeccanica helicopter probe - spokeswoman.  Full Article 

Gaza Violence

Gaza Violence

Carnage at U.N. school as Israel pounds Gaza refugee camp.  Full Article 

E-commerce

E-commerce

Amazon says to invest $2 billion more in India.  Full Article 

Graft Investigation

Graft Investigation

With "Big Tiger" caught, Chinese media can finally name its prey.  Full Article 

Thai Politics

Thai Politics

Thai junta to keep tight grip after transfer of power.  Full Article 

v

Goodbye Kallis

Kallis quits ODI format months before World Cup.  Full Article 

U.S.-Russia Faceoff

U.S.-Russia Faceoff

Obama says strains over Ukraine not leading to new Cold War with Russia.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage