Al Qaeda Forces Surrender on Tora Bora, Bin Laden Still Elusive
Fighters loyal to Osama bin Laden around Tora Bora mountain in eastern Afghanistan agreed Tuesday to surrender to militia forces, a local commander said.
But Haji Mohammad Zaman, one of three leaders of local groups fighting al-Qaeda, said there was still no sign of the whereabouts of the alleged terrorist leader.
Zaman told journalists of the surrender following several hours of fierce fighting around the mountain.
Zaman said the mostly foreign al-Qaeda fighters had agreed to come down from the mountain at 8:00am (0330 GMT) on Wednesday.
"Its finished," Zaman told journalists. "They told us: 'We don't want to fight with you, we surrender'."
Zaman said the surrender was unconditional. "They must come down, get out from the holes and the caves, they must hand over their weapons."
He added that he did not discuss bin Laden with the al-Qaeda fighters. "Until today I was sure he was here. Now I don't know exactly."
The surrender agreement was struck three months to the day after the devastating attacks on New York and Washington, which left almost 3,300 dead -- which have been blamed on bin Laden -- AFP
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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