KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- They showed up on the morning the Taliban quit Kabul -- the central bank's president, his cashier and a few armed men. They loaded up more than $7 million in dollars, Afghanis and Pakistani rupees. Then, like other Taliban, they were gone.
Eight weeks later, the country's central financial institution, the Pashtu-named Da Afghanistan Bank, is a mess. Money is scarce, fixtures bare, walls crumbling and staircases chipped. There are no tellers, which at least means there are few withdrawals.
And on the second floor of the cavernous institution, its new president, using his new computer, is trying to put things back together.
"They did very bad things," said Said Ullah Hashimi, who spent five years as ousted President Burhanuddin Rabbani's finance adviser before being appointed head of the bank when the Taliban left in mid-November.
With no checks, no paperwork, they simply went into the vaults and emerged with piles of cash -- $5.3 million, 18 billion Afghanis ($600,000) and 72 million Pakistani rupees ($1.2 million) -- enough cash to fill a wheelbarrow.
And that was only from the main branch in Kabul. With domestic communications still spotty, no one knows yet how much is gone from Da Afghanistan Bank branches around the country.
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