Eyewitness: The fall of Kunduz
Monday, 26 November, 2001, 12:16 GMT
Kunduz was the last Taleban stronghold in the north
By the BBC's Rupert Wingfield-Hayes in Kunduz
The BBC team rolled into the centre of Kunduz early on Monday afternoon and we are now in the bazaar in the centre of the city.
It is a very chaotic scene. Huge crowds of people are milling around and lots of soldiers are visible on pick-ups with guns and grenade launchers.
Shops and bakeries have reopened and the atmosphere is festive.
But in the street there is a stark reminder of the battle for the city - two dead Taleban fighters, their bodies covered with old sacks.
The situation is now calm.
I understand the majority of the Taleban left the city late on Sunday night and that the Northern Alliance came into the city relatively unopposed this morning.
Locals say there was some sporadic fighting as the last remnants of the Taleban were driven out of the city and south to an area around the airport.
Surrounding Northern Alliance forces unleashed an artillery barrage
The Northern Alliance says that some Taleban left in the city this morning did surrender peacefully.
There are some pockets of Taleban resistance still to the south of Kunduz around the airport and some fighting is still going on there.
The residents of Kunduz say they are very relieved that the Taleban have gone and that the fighting is over. It is the first time many of the people living here have been able to come out for almost two weeks.
The local people say it was a very scary time with the US bombing.
City centre unscathed
There is little damage evident around me here in the city centre. The targets for the bombing included the airport and the local power generators.
US planes hammered Taleban positions for days
Local residents are now curious of the western media that have all arrived and have gathered around us here as we try to broadcast.
Some of the locals believe that foreign Taleban fighters were evacuated out of the area.
They say there was a lot of activity at the airport during the past few nights as foreign fighters were taken out of the country and back to Pakistan. These are unconfirmed reports - but it is the widely-held belief of the local community.
The Northern Alliance is now in charge in the city under the command of a Tajik general.
Northern Alliance troops say they are here to restore law and order to the city.
They say this is only an interim measure and that they intend to set up a local government with the residents in the coming weeks.
|Back to News Archirves of 2001|
Disclaimer: This news site is mostly a compilation of publicly accessible articles on the Web in the form of a link or saved news item. The news articles and commentaries/editorials are protected under international copyright laws. All credit goes to the original respective source(s).