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Tuesday,October 20,2020 11:47 AM

Key Taliban City Captured

By Vision Reporter

Added 25th November 2001 03:00 AM

KABUL, Sunday – Northern Alliance forces entered Kunduz early on Sunday, ending a two-week siege of the Taliban’s last bastion in northern Afghanistan and leaving only Kandahar and its environs in the hands of the Islamic militia.

KABUL, Sunday – Northern Alliance forces entered Kunduz early on Sunday, ending a two-week siege of the Taliban’s last bastion in northern Afghanistan and leaving only Kandahar and its environs in the hands of the Islamic militia.

KABUL, Sunday – Northern Alliance forces entered Kunduz early on Sunday, ending a two-week siege of the Taliban’s last bastion in northern Afghanistan and leaving only Kandahar and its environs in the hands of the Islamic militia. The country’s acting president, Burhanuddin Rabbani, opened the door for the eventual participation “as individuals” of some Taliban members in a future interim government. His statement came ahead of a planned conference on Tuesday in Bonn of anti-Taliban Afghan groups in the first step toward a broad-based temporary administration for the war-torn country. Rabbani also pledged that Alliance forces would not “injure or harass” surrendering foreigners — mostly Pakistanis, Arabs and Chechens linked to Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network — who have been defending Kunduz alongside Afghan Taliban troops. The Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) news agency, which has close ties with the Taliban, said troops loyal to ethnic Uzbek Northern Alliance commander Abdul Rashid Dostam took control of Kunduz on Sunday after 2,500 of his men moved into the city overnight. Dostam sent one of his top officers into the commercial and industrial city of 30,000 to start dismantling militia defences and shipping Taliban and al-Qaeda prisoners west to his headquarters in Mazar-i-Sharif, AIP said. “The forces of general Abdul Rashid Dostam have entered Kunduz and the Taliban have handed over control of the city,” AIP said. “The Taliban have started evacuating Kunduz and its suburbs. They are also handing over military positions one after another to Dostam’s forces.” AIP said Dostam now controls 70 percent of Kunduz. The Uzbek warlord is expected in the city later on Sunday and his arrival, AIP warned, would constitute a “headache” for his ethnic Tajik allies who helped surround the city from the east. Another Alliance commander, Kadam Shah, who operates east of Kunduz, said he was waiting for further surrenders before entering the city from the north. “The taking of the city should occur in any case on Sunday,” said the commander of the Khanabad front, about 20km from Kunduz. Between 3,000 and 9,000 Taliban troops, up to one third of them foreigners, entrenched themselves in Kunduz after the fall of Mazar-i-Sharif on November 11, resisting a spectacular Alliance blitz across the north, west and centre of the country. AFP Ends

Key Taliban City Captured

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