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Northern Alliance Troops Enter Afghan Capital - 2001-11-13

Northern Alliance troops have entered the Afghan capital, Kabul. They met with no resistance as Taleban troops fled south to their stronghold at Kandahar. There are also unconfirmed reports that the airport at Kandahar has fallen.

The Northern Alliance took the Afghan capital, Kabul, within three hours of entering the city. Taleban troops deserted Kabul Monday night and columns of their vehicles were seen passing on the road south, out of the city.

Northern Alliance troops received an energetic welcome, with people rising at dawn to honk car horns, ring bicycle bells and shout congratulations. The troops conducted searches for any remaining Taleban and their Pakistani and Arab supporters. A Taleban spokesman admits the Northern Alliance breached the front lines at Kabul, but says the Taleban were not abandoning the city, merely falling back to another line from which to defend it.

As they left Kabul, the Taleban took with them the eight foreign aid workers jailed and awaiting sentence on charges of spreading Christianity. There are also reports that the Taleban cleared Afghanistan's gold reserves and that there is looting in the city. The Northern Alliance says it is establishing a police force to maintain law and order.