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U.K. Panel: Afghanistan Could 'Implode'

A British parliamentary committee called for more troops and resources to be sent to Afghanistan (search), warning the country could "implode" if its fragile situation is not shored up.

In a wide-ranging report on the war against terrorism, the Foreign Affairs Select Committee said warlord violence and the struggle between U.S.-led troops and insurgents threatens security in Afghanistan.

"There is a real danger if these resources are not provided soon that Afghanistan — a fragile state in one of the most sensitive and volatile regions in the world — could implode, with terrible consequences," the report said.

It added that "there is little, if any, sign of the war on drugs being won," and it called on the British government to explain how it intends to meet targets on reducing poppy cultivation by 75 percent by 2008.

The report came as the French humanitarian group Medecins Sans Frontieres (search) pressed ahead with its plan to leave Afghanistan because of the deteriorating security situation. The agency, known in English as Doctors Without Borders, said it was pulling out because the government had failed to act on evidence that a local warlord ordered the June 2 slaughter of five of its staff.

On Iraq, the report said that the refusal of countries other than the United States and Britain to send significant numbers of troops has produced "serious and regrettable consequences."

It said that the coalition's failure to bring law and order to parts of Iraq had created a vacuum for criminals and members of the former regime, making the country a battleground for Al Qaeda (search).

Other countries, including Islamic nations, should be encouraged to send troops, the report said, backing a Saudi Arabia proposal that a new, Muslim military force be sent to Iraq.

The plan was raised in talks between Secretary of State Colin Powell and senior Saudi officials in the city of Jeddah. Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi has also expressed support for the idea.

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