Volume 95, Issue 41

Wednesday, November 14, 2001
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Embattled head soph speaks

USC bails out SSSC

W-kids battle WIN in "pimping" showdown

Legal complications of Holocaust discussed

LHSC cutbacks hurt students

Alliance rebels seize Afghan capital

Off-campus kids have guardian angels

Alliance rebels seize Afghan capital

By Aaron Wherry
Gazette Staff

A jubilant northern alliance entered Kabul Tuesday, signaling a tremendous victory for both opposition forces in Afghanistan and United States-led forces fighting the Taliban.

The Taliban army fled the Afghan capital Monday night, allowing northern alliance forces to capture Kabul after earlier capturing key northern city Mazar-e-Sharif.

Kabul residents crowded around the dead bodies of Taliban soldiers and children shouted "Welcome!" to opposition forces as the northern alliance ignored previous pleas from the United States to not enter the Afghan capital until a proper government could be established.

UN officials said conditions in Mazar-e-Sharif are, at times, chaotic. Unconfirmed reports say up to 100 Taliban soldiers may have been captured and executed by rebel forces.

Reports of pillaging, looting and "armed men out of control in the streets" are also being reported, said a spokesperson for the World Food Program.

In Kabul, the reaction is mixed.

"We're being reborn in the world," said Abdul Shukur, a 40-year-old janitor in Kabul. Stroking his long beard – a requirement for all men under Taliban rule – he said, "Now I will shave it."

Rebel police forces have entered Kabul, but military forces are also present.

Robert Russo of Canadian Press reported there were clear instances of brutality during their first hours in Kabul.

A series of pictures from a New York Times photographer captured a Taliban soldier begging for his life only to be dragged onto a dirt road and summarily executed.

News video showed another northern alliance soldier kicking the lifeless body of a Taliban fighter. Some prisoners were beaten and abused.

U.S. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said all of northern Afghanistan, with the exception of a few pockets of resistance, is under the control of anti-Taliban rebels.

He also promised to hunt down all fleeing Taliban troops and terrorists.

"We're going to get them. I doubt that they'll find peace wherever they select," he said.

Rumsfeld warned the war on terrorism is far from over.

"This effort against terrorism and terrorists is far from over," he said. "The war is not about one man or one terrorist network or even one country."

–with files from Associated Press and Canadian Press

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Copyright The Gazette 2001