The Northern Afghanistan city of Kunduz has fallen to the Northern Alliance on a day that also saw a riot in a Northern Alliance prison end in the deaths of an estimated 700 Taliban prisoners. The following are links to wire reports of today’s developments.
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ASSOCIATED PRESS: Alliance Reportedly
By ELLEN KNICKMEYER, Associated Press Writer
BANGI, Afghanistan (AP) - Northern alliance troops captured the Taliban's last northern stronghold, Kunduz, after a two-week siege, a commander said Sunday. Hundreds of captured foreign fighters were said to have died in a prison riot quashed by the alliance and U.S. airstrikes.
The claim that the city had fallen after a day of alliance advances came from a top commander, Daoud Khan.
``All of Kunduz is in our control,'' he told The Associated Press by telephone, adding that Taliban forces were in retreat toward the town of Chardara, to the west. Alliance troops were pursuing them, he said.
BBC: Carnage in Afghan prison revolt
The Pentagon has confirmed that a revolt by foreign pro-Taleban fighters being held prisoner near the Afghan city of Mazar-e-Sharif has been brought under control after fighting which, reports say, left "hundreds" dead.
The Northern Alliance said earlier that its forces at the Qala-e-Jhangi fortress had quelled the revolt.
A United States special forces soldier at the scene agreed that "hundreds" of prisoners, believed to have links to Osama Bin Laden's al-Qaeda militant network, were dead.
US planes and troops were used alongside Northern Alliance tanks and rockets to end the uprising which began when one of the foreign prisoners threw a hand grenade, killing his guards.
The BBC's Catherine Davis in Mazar-e-Sharif says some of the other 300 prisoners grabbed guns and began shooting.
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REUTERS: U.S. Warplanes Help Quell Afghan Prisoner
By Alan Elsner and Olga Petrova
WASHINGTON/TALOQAN, Afghanistan (Reuters) - U.S. warplanes rushed into action on Sunday to help quell an uprising by prisoners loyal to Osama bin Laden in the northern Afghanistan headquarters of a Northern Alliance warlord.
The battle, in which witnesses said many people were killed or wounded, came on the day thousands of Afghan Taliban fighters agreed to give up their bitter defense in Kunduz, their last remaining foothold in northern Afghanistan.
Seven weeks after the United States and its allies launched its war against Saudi-born bin Laden, his Taliban protectors have been reduced to one last major redoubt in Kandahar, spiritual heartland of the strict, fundamentalist movement.
An account of the surrender of a group of Taliban on Saturday, presumably the same group that rioted this morning.
THE OBSERVER: Hundreds of troops dozed in the sun. These were the Taliban elite
Luke Harding in Kundoz meets the surrendering remnants of a utopian movement facing the end
They arrived in darkness, then sat until dawn in the desert. The Taliban's elite foreign fighters were supposed to fight until the death. But early yesterday morning they packed into five open trucks and three pick-ups and headed east out of Kundoz in a swirl of choking dust.
At 3am they arrived unannounced on the outskirts of Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan's northern city. They waited.
As we set off from Mazar early yesterday, we had no idea they were there. The road out of the city seemed unusually frantic. We passed a checkpoint manned by opposition fighters and dozens of Jeeps packed with soldiers. We kept going.
And then 200 yards ahead of us in the desert were hundreds of soldiers in black turbans, sitting placidly among the dunes in neatly-spaced groups. Some of them were asleep in black tents. A few were dozing; others stretched in the morning sunshine.
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