Ex-Afghan president heads to Kabul
KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani is expected to arrive in the capital of Kabul on Wednesday to declare the city free from Taliban rule.
Rabbani, who is also the Northern Alliance's leader, is still recognized as Afghanistan's president by the United Nations and many other countries.
He was driven out of Kabul along with his forces in 1996 by the radical Islamic Taliban movement.
"God willing, tomorrow I will be in Kabul," Rabbani told Qatar's al-Jazeera satellite television on Tuesday in his first remarks since the fall of Kabul.
Rabbani's visit comes one day after the Taliban abandoned Kabul.
They offered no significant resistance early Tuesday morning as Northern Alliance fighters moved into the city.
The former president's visit comes amid reports that 80 percent of the country has been taken by the Northern Alliance. The reports can't be confirmed independently.
Rules out Taliban
With the Northern Alliance keen to try to consolidate its hold over captured territory, Rabbani has ruled out Taliban involvement in any political settlement for Afghanistan.
He said former king Zahir Shah could return, but only as a citizen.
The ex-king, living in exile in Rome since 1973, is seen by many as a key player in any post-war political settlement.
While pleased about the Taliban retreat, the global community has renewed calls for a broad-based, multi-ethnic government for post-Taliban Afghanistan.
The retreat from Kabul capped a remarkable collapse of Taliban positions since last Friday, when opposition forces -- aided by U.S. air power -- took the key northern city of Mazar-e Sharif.
Since then, the Northern Alliance had made advances across northern, western and central Afghanistan, taking another major city, Herat, Monday.
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