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November 24, 2001
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Taleban evacuation of Kunduz underway: Northern Alliance

Northern Alliance on Saturday said the Taleban has begun evacuating their last northern Afghan stronghold of Kunduz.

An Alliance spokesman said more than 1,700 Taleban militiamen surrendered to the Northern Alliance forces surrounding the town.

"The evacuation of Kunduz started this morning (Saturday) and so far 1,000 Taleban have laid down their weapons and surrendered to Northern Alliance commanders to the northwest," an agency report quoted Northern Alliance spokesman Mohammad Habeel as saying.

He added that another 700 Afghan Taleban fighters surrendered to commander Mohammad Daoud to the east.

There were conflicting reports about the surrender of hardcore Taleban foreign fighters -- Pakistanis, Arabs, Chechens and Uzbek -- loyal to Osama bin Laden.

Confirming the Alliance spokesman's statement, a news agency said about 1,000 militiamen in four trucks crossed the Bangi bridge out of the northwest of Kunduz on Saturday morning and surrendered with their weapons before the Alliance forces.

Meanwhile, Northern Alliance, which has amassed some 30,000 troops around Kunduz, warned those fighters who do not surrender the city will be attacked and killed or arrested and tried in Afghanistan.

America's War on Terror: The Complete Coverage
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