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Tora Bora next tourist destination

world Updated: Mar 10, 2007 17:53 IST

PTI
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The Tora Bora caves in eastern Afghanistan where US troops conducted a futile manhunt for Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden and his senior associates five years ago is being spruced up as a tourist attraction.

The dozens of caves in the wild country off the city of Jalalabad, not far from the Pakistan border, will have a proper road to service them, and also a modern-style hotel for tourists, the head of the Afghan Tourist Organisation, Fawzia Assefi, told the agency.

Assefi said that USAID had provided six million dollars for the makeover of the caves complex.

The work on the proposed road has already begun with part of the funds that had become available, she quoted Ghul Agha Sherzai, Governor of the Nangrahar province where the caves are located, as saying.

Once the facilities are in place, a tour of the caves from the pretty town of Jalalabad, will be less than a half-day affair.

According to Assefi, the USAID had directly provided 250 million dollars to governors of six provinces for the maintenance, upkeep, and modernisation of places of tourist interest in this country dotted with historical remains dating back millennia.

Among these are stunning architectural sites of the Buddhist and the Hindu periods. Afghanistan has been ruled by Emperors Ashok and Kanishk. In both those time zones were produced objects of great historical splendour.