Afghan insecurity disrupts vital aid: U.N.

KABUL Sat May 26, 2007 8:27am EDT

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KABUL (Reuters) - Rising insecurity in Afghanistan has disrupted the delivery of vital aid to about one million people, the U.N. World Food Program said on Saturday.

Violence has surged in Afghanistan in recent months following a traditional winter lull. Last year was the bloodiest since U.S.-led coalition forces overthrew the Taliban's government in 2001.

The WFP said attacks by armed groups and looting of WFP trucks had increased sharply since last month, mostly in southern and eastern areas, where Taliban insurgents are most active.

Drivers had been shot and wounded trying to resist looters, it said.

In the latest incident, 52 tonnes of food was looted on Thursday, said Ebadullah Ebadi, a WFP press officer in Kabul.

"The poorest of the poor people are hurt by this," he said.

The government has said it will provide security for convoys, he said.

The WFP is helping to supply nearly two million impoverished Afghans with food.

"Those carrying out the attacks should be held accountable, if not by law, then at least by those communities for whom they are depriving food," Rick Corsino, the WFP's representative for Afghanistan, said in a statement.

"Whatever their motives, they are contributing to the already considerable hardship of the poorest Afghans who need assistance more than ever," he said.

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