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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Time is Running Out for Taliban Bomb Suspect.

UNITED NATIONS - Afghanistan's Taliban leaders have a month to surrender U.S. embassy bombing suspect Osama bin Laden for trial and close "terrorist"training camps or face controversial new U.N. sanctions.

The Security Council approved a U.S.-Russian sponsored resolution Tuesday to impose an arms embargo on the Taliban and other measures, overriding concerns by international aid groups and Secretary-General Kofi Annan that ordinary Afghans will likely suffer.

China and Malaysia abstained from the vote, voicing humanitarian worries but also objecting to a one-sided arms embargo when the United Nations is trying to bring the Taliban army and its opposition to the negotiating table.

Malaysian Ambassador Agam Hasmy, indignant that the U.S. and Russian ambassadors had "steamrolled"the resolution through, said the embargo dealt an almost certain death blow to U.N. peace efforts.

Taliban officials, who have condemned the new initiative as an attempt by the United States and Russia to assert new authority in Central Asia, have said they would boycott U.N. peace talks if the sanctions were imposed.

"In the quagmire of Afghanistan, any glimmer of hope, any chink of light, should be pursued,"Hasmy said.

Russian Ambassador Sergey Lavrov responded that the Taliban had consistently reneged on promises to negotiate with the opposition and said he was certain a new round of talks announced last month wouldn't have resulted in progress anyway.

"They are continuing in fact to block the political process and they are continuing to bank on war," Lavrov said of the Taliban, whom he accused of training rebels to fight in Chechnya and other former Soviet republics.

The United States and Russia, former superpower rivals over Afghanistan, lobbied the 13 other Security Council members hard to adopt the resolution, arguing that the country was a "haven of lawlessness"whose hard-line Islamic rulers protect terrorists at home and support terrorism abroad.

Several council members, including France, the Netherlands and Canada, expressed concern at the implications of new sanctions on a country already experiencing a 20-year civil war and the worst drought in a generation.

But no one was willing to block the resolution outright since opposition would amount to support for the Taliban army, which has imposed a strict brand of Islam in the 95 percent of Afghanistan it controls.

"The Taliban leadership harbors the world's most wanted terrorist: Osama bin Laden,"said deputy U.S. ambassador Nancy Soderberg, stressing that the Saudi exile is but one of many terrorists in the country. "Let no one misunderstand: They remain a continuing threat to us all."

The sanctions call for an arms embargo on the Taliban, including foreign military assistance purportedly given the Taliban by Pakistan. Among other measures, the sanctions require all Taliban offices overseas to be closed. In a bid to deprive the militia of revenue from illicit opium production, the measures call for a ban on exports to Taliban areas of acetic anhydride, used to manufacture heroin.

The sanctions will go into effect in a month if Taliban authorities fail to close Afghan "terrorist"camps and deliver bin Laden to the United States or a third country for trial in the 1998 bombing of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

Taliban leaders have refused to hand the Saudi exile over, saying the United States has provided no proof he was involved in the blasts. And they have denied the camps are used to train Chechen rebels, who are fighting for independence from Russia.

The United Nations withdrew the last of its international staff from Afghanistan on Tuesday, fearing retaliation by Afghans angry the new sanctions will deepen their international isolation. U.N. programs, such as bakeries and clinics, will be run by local staff.

"It is not going to facilitate our peace efforts, nor is it going to facilitate our humanitarian work,"Secretary-General Kofi Annan told an end-of-the-year press conference Tuesday.

U.S. and Russian officials have said the resolution provides for humanitarian exemptions that mitigate any impact on ordinary Afghans. And they have stressed the resolution is designed to combat terrorism - not take sides in Afghanistan's civil war.

But such explanations were lost Wednesday on 45-year-old Bizmullah Balkhi as he waited for a bus at dawn in Kabul to go to neighboring Pakistan.

"Why is the United Nations doing this to us?"he asked. "The children, they are shaking from the cold. ... I don't understand."