Sudden U.S. troop camp pullout leaves Afghans with litter, anger

Dec. 31, 2012 at 2:41 PM

KABUL, Afghanistan, Dec. 31 (UPI) -- U.S. soldiers who abandoned an eastern Afghanistan camp didn't pay rent they owed and angered residents by leaving behind rusting debris, the landlord said.

The troops had rented a home in Pashengar village in Kunar province that they used as base for six years but left without notice in the middle of the night, Britain's Guardian reported Sunday.

The landlord, Haji Najibullah Khan, said his tenants' unexpected departure left him with five years of unpaid rent, totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars, and a lot of junk.

District Gov. Gul Rahman suggested that Khan could sell the air conditioners, generator and used vehicles at the camp and make up about half of the lost rent. But Khan isn't so optimistic.

"I can't sell any of the equipment because it is not stuff that people in the district use," he said. "I just leave it in my yard, because it's quite worthless to me."

The Afghan landscape is still littered with rusted-out tanks left behind when Soviet troops pulled out of the country in the 1980s.

The International Security Assistance Force, of which the U.S. is a member, declined to comment on the unpaid rent, or the junk littering the base, saying it did not discuss "potential or pending claims."

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