Afghan rebels take key city

Montreal Gazette Saturday, November 10, 2001 Page: A1 / FRONT Section: News Byline: LEVON SEVUNTS Column: Levon Sevunts in Afghanistan Dateline: PUZE PULEKHOMRY, Afghanistan Source: The Gazette; AP Anti-Taliban forces took the strategically important city of Mazar-e Sharif yesterday, but bad weather forced them to postpone another offensive in Takhar province in northern Afghanistan. Ashraf Nadim, aide-de-camp of Commander Muhammad Atta, said that by 5 p.m., 2,500 United Islamic Front forces had taken the Mazar-e Sharif power station and airport, and moved to the centre…

Rebels insist final offensive near: Alliance claims 'The Dog', a feared Taliban leader, was killed by U.S. airstrike

The Ottawa Citizen Friday, November 9, 2001 Page: A3 Section: News Byline: Levon Sevunts Dateline: DASHTEQALA, Afghanistan Source: The Ottawa Citizen DASHTEQALA, Afghanistan – One of the Taliban’s most infamous commanders was killed and three others were captured, a top commander of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance said yesterday. Gen. Mamur Hassan said Commander Gargaray, one of the most ferocious and ruthless Taliban commanders, was killed as a result of the U.S. bombing near Mazar-e-Sharif. “He was one of the most feared and despised Taliban commanders,”…

Afghan city ripe: rebels: Anti-Taliban forces advance to within 8 km of Mazar-e Sharif

Montreal Gazette Friday, November 9, 2001 Page: A1 / FRONT Section: News Byline: LEVON SEVUNTS Column: In Afghanistan Source: The Gazette DASHT-E QALA, Afghanistan – The anti-Taliban United Islamic Front has advanced to 8 kilometres south of Mazar-e Sharif, a strategically important city in northern Afghanistan, a top UIF commander said last night. General Mamur Hassan said he believes Mazar-e Sharif will fall to the anti-Taliban forces within days. This information could not be independently verified. Similar claims were made two weeks ago, but UIF…

Life in the trenches: Alliance troops drink tea, play cards during lull in fighting

Montreal Gazette Thursday, November 8, 2001 Page: A1 / FRONT Section: News Byline: LEVON SEVUNTS Column: LEVON SEVUNTS In Afghanistan Source: The Gazette After surviving 13 years of fighting and three gunshot wounds, Safuddin figures he is pretty lucky. He has only one wish: to survive long enough to till his field alongside his father, just like 13 years ago when he, a 16-year-old farmboy, picked up a gun to fight the Soviet occupation. “I miss my wife and my two children a lot,” Safuddin…

Life in the trenches: Alliance troops drink tea, play cards during lull in fighting

Montreal Gazette Thursday, November 8, 2001 Page: A1 / FRONT Section: News Byline: LEVON SEVUNTS Column: LEVON SEVUNTS In Afghanistan Source: The Gazette After surviving 13 years of fighting and three gunshot wounds, Safuddin figures he is pretty lucky. He has only one wish: to survive long enough to till his field alongside his father, just like 13 years ago when he, a 16-year-old farmboy, picked up a gun to fight the Soviet occupation. “I miss my wife and my two children a lot,” Safuddin…

U.S., Alliance co-operation essential to success of campaign

Montreal Gazette Wednesday, November 7, 2001 Page: B1 / BREAK Section: News Byline: LEVON SEVUNTS Column: LEVON SEVUNTS In Afghanistan Dateline: KHWAJA BAHUDDIN, Afghanistan Source: The Gazette; AP On the one hand yesterday, anti-Taliban forces claimed capture of three villages outside the strategic northern city of Mazar-e Sharif. On the other, the United Islamic Front’s foreign minister said better co-operation with the U.S. military and more intense U.S. bombing on the front lines is needed before their forces can launch a ground offensive. What is…

All-front bombing looms: Alliance: The generals of the Northern Alliance tell The Gazette's Levon Sevunts they are readying for a full-court press against the Taliban at Mazar-e Sharif.

Montreal Gazette Tuesday, November 6, 2001 Page: A1 / FRONT Section: News Byline: LEVON SEVUNTS Column: In Afghanistan Dateline: DASHT-E QALA, Afghanistan Source: The Gazette The anti-Taliban coalition is expecting a U.S. bombing campaign of unprecedented intensity in the coming days before launching an all-out ground offensive along its entire front line, a top commander said yesterday. “We are expecting a very strong U.S. bombing, not just on our front but on every front in Afghanistan,” said General Mamur Hassan, an influential warlord with the…

Alliance ready to launch ground war; Anti-Taliban forces await full-scale American bombing

Edmonton Journal Tuesday, November 6, 2001 Page: A2 Section: War On Terrorism Byline: Levon Sevunts Dateline: Dashteqala, Afghanistan Source: Southam Newspapers; Montreal Gazette The anti-Taliban coalition is expecting an American bombing campaign of unprecedented intensity in coming days before launching an all-out ground offensive along its entire front line, a top commander said Monday. “We are expecting a very strong American bombing, not just on our front but on every front in Afghanistan,” said Gen. Mamur Hassan, an influential warlord with the Northern Alliance. “We…

War on Taliban unites old foes

Bitter enemies 20 years ago, two veterans are working together to train a new generation of Afghani fighters, writes Levon Sevunts. The Ottawa Citizen Tuesday, November 6, 2001 Page: A3 Section: News Byline: Levon Sevunts Dateline: SOWJONI, Afghanistan Source: The Montreal Gazette SOWJONI, Afghanistan – Twenty years ago, Col. Abdul Khaleq and his deputy, Habibullah, would have cut each other’s throats. Col. Khaleq was a career officer in the Communist Afghani army trained at Ryazan Paratrooper College in Russia, to fight the mujahedeen, while Habibullah…

Bombs focused on hills: Northern Alliance expected to launch offensive on Mazar-e Sharif soon

Montreal Gazette Monday, November 5, 2001 Page: B1 / BREAK Section: News Byline: LEVON SEVUNTS Column: In Afghanistan Dateline: PUZE PULEKHOMRY, Afghanistan Source: The Gazette The Gazette’s Levon Sevunts reports that Northern Alliance fighters are happy with the U.S. change in strategy to include carpet bombing of Taliban positions. U.S. B-52 bombers rained dozens of bombs at hillop Taliban positions in northern Afghanistan yesterday, boosting the morale of anti-Taliban fighters and raising expectations of a major offensive in the next day or so. It seemed…

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