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Front Lines: Marines to seek out Taliban, al Qaeda

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Konduz surrender
A convoy of trucks carry surrendering Taliban fighters across the Bangi Bridge on the Konduz front line on Saturday.  


U.S. Marines are working to turn up the pressure on Taliban and al Qaeda forces after establishing a base at an airfield south of Kandahar. Meanwhile, Northern Alliance troops, backed by U.S. jets, continued battling a revolt by Taliban prisoners near Mazar-e Sharif that has reportedly left hundreds dead.

Efforts to assemble a new government to replace the Taliban come to the fore in Germany on Tuesday, with delegates from several Afghan factions meeting in Bonn under the auspices of the United Nations. The conference begins as Northern Alliance troops continue trying to secure their grip on Konduz, the last major Taliban stronghold in northern Afghanistan, which fell Monday.


The Marines in Afghanistan will be used to help hunt Taliban and al Qaeda forces on the move around Kandahar, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Monday. (Full story)

The U.N. urged "speedy" action in establishing an interim government for Afghanistan as factional leaders gathered for Tuesday's conference in Bonn, Germany. U.N. officials also want an international security force to prevent any infighting among rival warlords. (Full story)

President Bush warned Americans Monday to remain vigilant and alert as the war against terrorism continues, saying citizens should brace themselves for some U.S. deaths, and repeating his stance that other countries which harbor terrorists could also face U.S. and coalition action. (Full story)

Five members of a U.S. special operations force were injured -- three seriously -- when a U.S. warplane dropped a bomb near them Sunday in an attempt to control a prison uprising, the Pentagon confirmed Monday. Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said all of the injured had been airlifted to Uzbekistan for medical treatment. (Full story)

Northern Alliance troops claimed to be in full control of Konduz as remaining Taliban forces retreated westward. Konduz had been the Taliban's last stronghold in northern Afghanistan, but anti-Taliban forces entered the heart of the city without resistance, reports said. (Full story)

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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  •  Summary

  •  Update

  •  Key questions

  •  Who's who

  •  Impact

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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)


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)


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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