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Fact Sheet

Front lines: No surrender of Kandahar

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SUMMARY:

The Taliban have agreed to surrender in the northern town of Konduz, where heavy fighting has taken place in recent days, CNN has learned. Details of the surrender are still being negotiated.

Meanwhile, the Taliban intend to fight on and will not concede their stronghold of Kandahar and the four or five provinces in Afghanistan they now control, senior Taliban spokesman Syed Tayyad Agha said Wednesday.

UPDATE:

Speaking at a news conference, Agha said any report that the Taliban would surrender Kandahar was "just propaganda." He also said the Taliban have "no idea" where suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden is and do not have any communication with him. (Full story)

Northern Alliance commander Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum and two Taliban leaders from the besieged northern Afghanistan city of Konduz met Wednesday in Mazar-e Sharif to discuss the situation in Konduz, including the possible surrender of Taliban forces. A Northern Alliance source told CNN that there will be no negotiation or surrender deal for the foreign troops aligned with the Taliban -- the Chechens, Arabs and Pakistanis, believed to be the hard-core fighters still in Konduz. (Full story)

Moving to cut off a possible escape route, the United States is now prepared to stop and board ships in the Arabian Sea if intelligence reports indicate bin Laden and members of his al Qaeda network or illegal cargo might be on board, according to Marine Gen. Peter Pace, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. (Full story)

Pentagon sources told CNN the United States is considering beefing up its forces on the ground by sending in Marines from ships off the coast of Pakistan. The number of troops could be as few as 100 or as many as 1,600, depending on the mission. (Full story)


  •  Summary

  •  Update

  •  Key questions

  •  Who's who

  •  Impact

Gen. Tommy Franks, the commander of the U.S. military campaign in Afghanistan, said Wednesday he was not surprised by the speed of the Taliban's collapse but added that there is still "a great deal of work ahead." (Full story)

Rigid security measures are being prepared for talks in Bonn between Afghan leaders to try to thrash out the composition of an interim government. Delegations from four anti-Taliban groupings -- including the Northern Alliance, Pashtun tribes from southern Afghanistan and supporters of exiled king Mohammed Zahir Shah -- are scheduled to meet in Bonn on Monday for the U.N.-organized talks. (Full story)

A committee is to meet next month to determine which projects are needed to rebuild Afghanistan, representatives at an international conference agreed Tuesday. More than 20 countries and a number of international organizations participated in the hastily convened conference. The day-long conference, sponsored by the United States and Japan, concluded with a decision to create an international steering committee. (Full story)

Armed with guns and rocket launchers, Northern Alliance soldiers dispersed a crowd of about 200 Wednesday voicing support for the former king of Afghanistan. The gathering outside the main mosque in Herat lasted about 45 minutes before it was broken up. The demonstrators voiced support for the U.N. plan for Afghanistan and the return of former King Mohammed Zahir Shah. (Full story)

 VIDEO
Former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani told CNN's Christiane Amanpour that he has agreed to a meeting of ethnic Afghan groups (November 20)

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Jalalabad is calm now following a change in power, but the Afghan city could still turn bloody. CNN's Bill Delaney reports (November 19)

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KEY QUESTIONS:

Who are the Northern Alliance and other 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)

Will the Taliban surrender or will they continue to fight, possibly launching a guerilla war out of Afghanistan's mountains? (Click here for more)

Where is Mullah Omar Mohammed, the spiritual leader of the Taliban?

What kind of government will replace the Taliban if the religious group is removed as the country's government? Will there be a U.N. or international peacekeeping force in Kabul? (Click here for more)

How are the citizens of Kabul reacting to the Taliban abandoning the city? (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'S WHO:

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)

The Taliban: A group of Islamic fundamentalists, mainly from Afghanistan's Pashtun ethnic group, which is the country's largest ethnic group. The Taliban that gained control of most of the country by 1997 and instituted an extreme form of Islamic law. (Click here for more)

Northern Alliance: A group of former mujahedeen fighters, mainly from minority ethnic groups that oppose the Taliban. (Click here for more)

George Robertson: NATO secretary-general and former British defense minister. (Click here for more)

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

IMPACT:

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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