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Satinder Bindra: Northern Alliance controls Konduz

Satinder Bindra reports from Konduz, Afghanistan.
Satinder Bindra reports from Konduz, Afghanistan.  


KONDUZ, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Northern Alliance forces captured the city of Konduz in northern Afghanistan on Monday, the last Taliban stronghold in the region.

As Northern Alliance troops were consolidating their hold on Konduz, Taliban prisoners in Mazar-e Sharif began a bloody revolt.

CNN's Satinder Bindra is on assignment in Konduz, where he notes a heavy presence of Northern Alliance troops on the streets and scores of people pouring into the city square.

CNN: Satinder, is there a sense of celebration or still some confusion there in Konduz?

SATINDER BINDRA: There is both celebration and confusion, but the bottom line is that Northern Alliance forces are now firmly in control of Konduz.

Just a few minutes ago the senior Northern Alliance commander, Gen. Daoud Khan, held a news conference. He said all the Taliban fighters have fled Konduz; they are in a place called Chordera. Now the Northern Alliance is trying to negotiate with these fighters, trying to convince them to surrender.

Here where I am, in Konduz, there are no more Taliban. At least we haven't seen them. The only Taliban we've seen are dead Taliban fighters. We've seen over the past one or two hours large crowds gathered around their bodies. We've also seen Northern Alliance forces take a significant amount of Taliban fighters as prisoners, and they have not been kind to them. We have seen Taliban fighters roughly bundled into trucks and driven away.

Among the civilian population, a great sense of joy -- a great sense of optimism that they'll have some peace now that the Taliban aren't here. We are hearing from the local population that the Taliban were "oppressive." They actually forced people to pray.

We are also hearing stories from several residents about how the Taliban shot dead the dentist in the local hospital here. The story goes that some injured Taliban fighters went to the hospital and they asked the dentist to operate on them. The dentist said he wasn't qualified and then these angry Taliban fighters turned their guns on the dentist, shooting him dead.

CNN: What is the Northern Alliance doing there in Konduz to try to maintain some peace?

BINDRA: Firstly, they are going around from house to house. They are trying to secure the area, they are trying to see if they are no booby traps, that there are no Taliban stragglers. In other areas that I've been to that have been captured by the Northern Alliance, we've come upon small groups of Taliban fighters; little pockets of resistance, and these people can fight against the Northern Alliance forces. The Northern Alliance forces are also saying they are going to set up a commission to deal with law and order here. In a short while they're going to remove most of the Northern Alliance soldiers that are here from the heart of the city.

CNN: We are getting some reports out of Mazar-e Sharif that there are still some problems going on there, still some battling going on there with some of the Taliban prisoners who, of course, staged an uprising there. Are you hearing anything about what is going on in Mazar-e Sharif?

BINDRA: Yes, those stories are scaring fighters here. Definitely those stories about the revolts in Mazar-e Sharif are now trickling down here. But so far, amongst the surrenders that we've seen here, we've seen some 2,000 Taliban fighters surrender here. These surrenders have been quite peaceful. I've been talking to Taliban fighters who have surrendered and they've said they are actually willing to join the northern Alliance now to fight against the Taliban, so here no problems that we've seen or heard about.



 
 
 
 



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