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Northern Alliance Defies the U.S. and Takes Kabul; the Last Time They Took the Capital 50,000 Civilians Died

November 13, 2001
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Robert Fisk writes in today’s Independent:

“The Northern Alliance’s sudden victories in Afghanistan may be good news for the West but the bad news is not far behind. The Uzbek, Tadjik and Hazara gunmen who make up this rag-tag army have a bloody reputation for torturing and executing prisoners which — if resumed in the coming days — will plunge America and Britain into a moral abyss.

“Chilling stories of more than 100 pro-Taliban Pakistani fighters shot dead after their surrender in Mazar-i-Sharif ­and of Alliance gunmen "roaming the streets’’ of the abandoned city ­ will not come as a surprise to those who areaware of the atrocities committed by America’s new allies during the 1992-96 fighting in Kabul.

“For the Americans ­ and for the minuscule British component of the West’s military forces inside Afghanistan ­ thebehaviour of the Northern Alliance presents a grave problem. As our "foot-soldiers" are in Afghanistan, we cannotdisclaim responsibility for human rights abuses by the Alliance’s gunmen; yet neither the Americans nor the Britishappear to have tried to control the army they are now helping. Indeed, it seems they may not even be able to preventthe Alliance from entering Kabul."Guest:

  • Robert Fisk, correspondent with The Independent speaking from Amman, Jordan.

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