Volume 95, Issue 42

Thursday, November 15, 2001
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Stockwell sucks up to young PCs

Revolution sweeps across Afghanistan

French knight loves Star Trek and KD

Calendar sales steady

Homeless problem troubles London city council

Choo choo! -- all aboard the hippie train

News Briefs

Revolution sweeps across Afghanistan

By Aaron Wherry
Gazette Staff

The Taliban's hold on Afghanistan continues to slip, but warring tribes and several revolts seem to indicate the future of the war-torn nation may be just as troubled as its past.

The northern alliance continued its takeover of Kabul Wednesday, capturing several government ministries. Meanwhile, the eastern city of Jalalabad and the airport outside one of the last Taliban strongholds in Kandahar fell to anti-Taliban rebels.

These rebels are unaffiliated with the northern alliance, including one group of ethnic Pashtuns who were once the a key ally of the Taliban. Sources in the United States and Afghanistan said 200 Pashtun fighters were holding the air facility outside Kandahar, but are still being met with Taliban resistance.

Taliban allies dismissed recent rebel gains and promised to wage a guerrilla war in the mountains surrounding Kanadahar.

"We will never be defeated," said Maulana Sami-ul-Haq, who heads the multi-party Afghan Defence Council in Pakistan. "The opposition can take cities, but that only scatters them. They'll fight among themselves until they are too weak to continue."

Haq also claimed the Taliban withdrawal from Kabul was a strategic move. "The Taliban themselves allowed the opposition to take over cities," he said.

The ADC leader promised a brutal mountainous war, ending in defeat for opposition forces.

One rebel leader near Jalalabad dismissed such claims.

"How long can they hold out in the mountains?" asked Haji Zaman Gham Sherek. "They'll need food [and] ammunition. They will fight hard because it's a matter of life and death for them. But in the end, they will lose."

U.S. President George W. Bush earlier asked the northern alliance to refrain from invading Kabul until such a government could be formed and it is believed U.S. military and intelligence officials are operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan to bring order amongst the many warring tribes.

Despite huge opposition gains, U.S.-led strikes continue against Taliban forces fleeing south. U.S. special forces are hunting down senior Taliban leaders, Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said.

The Canadian government has placed approximately 1,000 troops on 48-hour notice to deploy to Afghanistan for humanitarian efforts.

–with files from Associated Press and Canadian Press

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