US aid cutoff fails to end Afghan prison searches

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KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- A Western official says Afghan guards at the country's main prison have ignored orders to stop conducting illegal body cavity searches on female visitors despite a U.S. decision to cut off aid to the facility.

The situation shows the fading influence of the U.S. government in Afghanistan.

The U.S. stopped all assistance to the 7,000-inmate Pol-i-Charki facility earlier this week in an attempt to stop the intrusive searches. The official said however that women were still being forced to undergo them on Saturday.

The official spoke anonymously because he was not authorized to brief the media.

The search issue has emerged as the U.S. presses ahead with plans to transfer detention facilities currently run by Americans to the Afghan government.