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Police raid Afghan bars, arrest nine: report

world Updated: Apr 15, 2010 14:19 IST

AFP
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Police in the Afghan capital seized thousands of bottles of alcohol from restaurants and bars frequented by foreigners, local media reported on Thursday.

Alcohol is illegal in the Islamic country though some bars and restaurants in Kabul do serve drinks to the thousands of foreigners based in the city.

Nine people, including women and foreigners, were arrested in the raids earlier this week, the Outlook newspaper quoted police as saying.

As a result, some bars and restaurants had closed and others had stopped serving alcohol, one restaurateur in the city said.

"The police have not been here but you never know who is watching," he said.

Outlook quoted Brigadier General Syed Adbul Ghafaar Syedzada, head of Kabul's criminal police branch, as saying the raids were prompted by tip-offs and intelligence.

He said 6,312 bottles of alcohol had been seized, 5,198 of them beer.

Among those arrested were seven women from Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Bosnia, Libya and Afghanistan, the newspaper said.

It quoted Syedzada as saying such establishments "mislead the young and encourage them to act immorally".

Raids on bars and restaurants selling alcohol are unusual but not unheard of in Kabul, and are generally believed to be motivated by money.

Bar owners in Kabul have said they pay enormous bribes to police to remain open.