A United Nations vehicle has been hijacked by unknown armed men in Afghanistan, a spokesman for the world body reported today.David Singh said no staff were hurt in yesterday’s attack on a vehicle belonging to the UN Mine Action Centre en route from Kabul to Kandahar. The vehicle was the third in a UN convoy, and the first to stop when shots were fired by gunmen on the side of the road. “The armed men took the vehicle and drove it some distance before leaving the four staff members in the vehicle on the side of the road unharmed,” Mr. Singh said. “The hijackers then drove the vehicle towards the Pakistani border.”The staff in the other two vehicles which were part of the convoy notified nearby police, who soon arrived at the scene. “The authorities are investigating the incident and until tangible evidence surfaces we cannot say whether one factor or another contributed,” Mr. Singh said.In another development, a two-day conference on justice in Afghanistan opened today in Rome. Addressing the gathering, the senior UN envoy to the country, Lakhdar Brahimi underscored the vital role the judicial system has in Afghan society. He stressed that the rule of law must be extended to areas now controlled by “the rule of gun,” adding that true security will come when every Afghan feels that the law is a refuge there to protect against the arbitrary rule of the strong.
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