Witnesses: Dozens of Taliban vehicles leaving Kabul

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Monday November 12 12:22 PM ET

Witnesses: Dozens of Taliban Vehicles Leaving Kabul

KABUL, Afghanistan (Reuters) - Tanks, armored personnel carriers and vehicles loaded with Taliban fighters pulled out of the Afghan capital, Kabul, as darkness fell Monday and opposition fighters neared the city from the north.

Dozens of Taliban vehicles were leaving Kabul in haste on the main highway leading westwards and then south toward the militia's stronghold of Kandahar, witnesses said.

Cars and battered Japanese pickups packed with Taliban with their belongings wrapped in sheets were seen leaving the city toward Kandahar, power base of Taliban supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, a reclusive man who lost one eye in the guerrilla war against the 1979-89 Soviet occupation.

Overhead, U.S. jets roared constantly through the skies over the city but no bombs were heard falling, and it was possible the planes could be chasing down the fleeing Taliban as they have done in other areas.

For the first time the Intelligence Department in the city was in darkness. A spotlight at its door that is lit from darkness to dawn had been switched off. The house of the chief justice was also in darkness and his guard had disappeared from his kiosk outside the house, the reporter said. Outside government buildings, the number of Taliban guards had been reduced sharply.

In Islamabad, the sole foreign envoy of the embattled Taliban denied the fundamentalist militia was withdrawing from Kabul, the Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) said.``This news is false and baseless that the Taliban are leaving Kabul,'' Taliban ambassador Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef was quoted by AIP as saying.``We have decided to defend Kabul.''

Zaeef said the opposition Northern Alliance had made some headway although the hardline Islamic movement had stopped its advance.``This is true that the opposition broke through our front line and advanced toward Kabul. But the Taliban have reinforced another front line and the opposition advance has been stopped,'' Zaeef said.

To the north of the city, Alliance fighters had advanced several kilometers, sweeping over the first trenches of the Taliban front lines and coming to within six km (four miles) of the city at their closest point, opposition Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah said.

-- Swissrose (cellier3@mindspring.com), November 12, 2001


If this is true, where was our military?!!!!!! I hope were not pulling another Saddam!

-- Steve McClendon (ke6bjd@yahoo.com), November 12, 2001.

Nawww! Couldn't be. They always fight to the death; they have the POWER OF AHHHHLLLLAAAAAAA*

-- JIMMIE-THE-WEED (THINKASUR@AOL.COM), November 12, 2001.

Wait! you spineless little pee peters you muck sucking despicable Taliban mo fos. Where are you going? You are deserting your favorite place to plot terror? How could this be, that the little northern alliance is swooping down across the whole of Afgistan, and is kicking your ass. You sorry FUCKS! Allah Allah! help us! Were we not good little suicide bombers to please you? Please make them go away and stop kicking our big stinking asses. Allah? Are you there?

-- jimmie-the-weed (thinkasur@aol.com), November 12, 2001.

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