Nic Robertson: Kandahar bombings, execution
(CNN) -- U.S. planes struck Kandahar and nearby areas Thursday, continuing some of the most intense bombardment against the city so far, sources inside Kandahar told CNN. There have also been reports that the Taliban executed a man in Kandahar for having a global positioning system.
In Spin Boldak, Afghanistan, CNN's Nic Robertson has been following these stories. He filed this report.
ROBERTSON: Our sources inside Kandahar say that the bombing that has been going on today was a continuation of bombing that went on through Wednesday. They say this is some of the heaviest bombing they've experienced. They describe is as being as incessant with very little letup between any of the bombing raids.
They say the Taliban had been responding with anti-aircraft guns within the city, but with little effect. They say the bombs had been falling not only around Kandahar, but also in the city itself.
They say the mood in the city at this time is very tense, and it has also been darkened by the fact that the Taliban executed a man Wednesday. They hanged him in the central square of Kandahar. They tell us that the Taliban accused this man of having a global positioning device. The Taliban believe that this man was using this satellite positioning device to help give information to U.S. forces who were stationed close by, just outside Kandahar.
What we are hearing from inside Afghanistan today is that the mood inside Kandahar is tense.
CNN: Let's talk about Spin Boldak, which has a crucial road to Kandahar. There have been discussions between tribal leaders and Taliban to hand over the city – where do things stand right now?
ROBERTSON: Negotiations apparently froze today. A local tribal leader told us they weren't going to change their position. Late in the day, a Taliban commander came over to me with Pakistani officials. He actually came across to Pakistan to inform the Pakistani officials that despite reports that the Taliban had a Canadian journalist imprisoned inside Spin Boldak, he came here to say that was not correct.
We asked him what the Taliban position was for Spin Boldak. He told us that as long as Mullah Mohammad Omar, the Taliban's leader, was in power, he said he would not be relinquishing the control of Spin Boldak.
Interestingly, we know through contacts here that several Taliban commanders inside Spin Boldak have either defected or disappeared recently. This latest Taliban commander had registration plates in his car from Mazar-e Sharif in the north where the Taliban were ousted recently. We have not seen him before -- perhaps it's an indication that the Taliban are now relocating some of their resources, some of their key personnel from the north, and using them to buffer the border regions here.
Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar on Wednesday night gave a very hard-line radio message to his troops, telling them to show resolve and not give any more ground to the Northern Alliance or other forces.
U.S. keeps pressure on Kandahar
November 29, 2001
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