Private security companies operating in Afghanistan's violent Kandahar Province are facing a crackdown, a senior Nato commander has said.
The firms will be more tightly regulated and their vehicles could be stopped to check where they are going and what weapons they are carrying.
Major General Nick Carter, the head of Nato's Regional Command (South) in Afghanistan, said warlords in Kandahar had been allowed to build up militias that they claimed were private security companies.
He highlighted the failure to force people to register security firms, vehicles, weapons and boarding houses as one of the province's weaknesses.
“That orderliness needs to be brought to the city to represent a rationale to the police force which it doesn't at the moment have,” he said.
Maj Gen Carter admitted that Afghanistan's private security companies were “a creation of the international community”.
They are currently used to escort Nato supply convoys through Kandahar and on to the coalition's main bases in Helmand Province.