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Front Lines: The battle for Mazar-e Sharif

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Northern Alliance commanders claim they have won control of the strategic northern Afghan city of Mazar-e Sharif. But U.S. officials are more cautions, saying the Northern Alliance will win control of the city but don't have control yet.


Northern Alliance Gen. Rashid Dostum said Friday his troops had entered and gained control of the strategic Taliban stronghold. But the U.S. officials say it is an overstatement to say the city has fallen to the Northern Alliance forces. The officials said the Northern Alliance is in the city and there is fighting in the streets. They call "credible" reports some Taliban forces are fleeing toward the capital Kabul, but one official said "it is a very fluid situation." (Full story)

In Kandahar, Afghanistan, CNN Correspondent Kamal Hyder, reporting by phone, said the latest round of U.S.-led bombing began Thursday afternoon north of Kabul and had not let up since. Targets included a two-mile range south of the strategic Bagram air base and another north of Kabul in Karaeah. (Full story)

Suspected terrorist hijacker Mohammed Atta contacted an Iraqi agent to discuss a terror attack on the Radio Free Europe building in the Czech Republic capital of Prague, Czech Prime Minister Milos Zeman told CNN Friday in an interview. (Full story)

Increasing numbers of Afghan children are being drawn into the war by both the ruling Taliban and Northern Alliance forces that are trying to overthrow the fundamentalist regime, a top U.N. official said Friday. (Full story)

Three people died in southwestern Pakistan Friday as police clashed with demonstrators protesting President Pervez Musharraf's support of the U.S.-led bombing campaign in Afghanistan. (Full story)

Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and U.S. President George W. Bush met in Washington Friday with the anti-terrorism campaign and the future of Afghanistan dominating the agenda for talks. (Full story)

The aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis and the warship's battle group stationed in San Diego, California, have been ordered to sail Monday to the Arabian Sea, more than a month ahead of their scheduled January deployment, Pentagon officials said. (Full story)

Three Japanese warships departed for the Indian Ocean early Friday to provide non-combat support to the U.S.-led war on terrorism. It will mark the first time since World War II that Japanese forces will operate outside of Japanese territory. (Full story)

Refugees in Pakistan are allowed to receive an education, something strictly forbidden by the Taliban. CNN's Rebecca MacKinnon reports (November 8)

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Overrun by casualties and lacking in equipment, Afghan medical facilities are getting stretched to their limits. CNN's Nic Robertson reports (November 8)

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  •  Summary

  •  Update

  •  Key questions

  •  Who's who

  •  Impact

Attack on America
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Agencies reportedly got hijack tips in 1998
Intelligence intercept led to Buffalo suspects
Report cites warnings before 9/11
Timeline: Who Knew What and When?
Interactive: Terror Investigation
Terror Warnings System
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In-Depth: America Remembers
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In-Depth: How prepared is your city?
On the Scene: Barbara Starr: Al Qaeda hunt expands?
On the Scene: Peter Bergen: Getting al Qaeda to talk


What kind of government will replace the Taliban if the religious group is removed as the country's government? (Click here for more)

Where are the Taliban positioning troops and equipment in civilian areas? Does this factor into where the U.S. decides to strike? (Click here for more)

What effect will the support and opposition within Pakistan of the U.S.-led military strikes have on the war against terrorism?

When will the Northern Alliance, the anti-Taliban group that controls up to 10 percent of Afghanistan, begin a ground offensive to take the capital of Kabul? Are they making any progress? (Click here for more.)

What is life like in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, with increasingly intense U.S. airstrikes overhead? (Click here for more.)

How long will the U.S.-led military campaign in Afghanistan last? (Click here for more.)

What is the goal of the U.S. airstrikes over Afghanistan? What is the key to the mission's success? (Click here for more.)

What is the White House doing to prevent al Qaeda from airing what it calls "propaganda" on U.S. media outlets? (Click here for more.)

Who are the key players in the political landscape of Afghanistan, and how could U.S. military intervention affect the balance of power there? (Click here for more.)


George W. Bush: U.S. president (Click here for more.)

Osama bin Laden: A wealthy Saudi expatriate living in Afghanistan who U.S. authorities cite as one of the primary suspects in masterminding the attacks. (Click here for more.)

Condoleezza Rice: U.S. national security adviser. (Click here for more.)

Colin Powell: U.S. secretary of state. A former Army general, Powell also served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. Click here for more. (Click here for more.)

Gen. Richard B. Myers: Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. (Click here for more.)

Gen. Tommy Franks: Head of U.S. Central Command. (Click here for more.)

Donald Rumsfeld: U.S. secretary of defense. (Click here for more.)

George Tenet: CIA director. (Click here for more.)

Northern Alliance: A group of former mujahedeen fighters, mainly from minority ethnic groups that oppose the Taliban. The group controls about five percent of northern Afghanistan.

George Robertson: Secretary-General of NATO (and former British defense minister) (Click here for more.)


The military attacks that began October 7 mark the start of what the Bush administration says will be a lengthy struggle against terrorist organizations worldwide -- one that could take years.


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