Qatar Raises Fears for Lives of Arabs Fighting with Taliban
The Gulf state of Qatar voiced concern Saturday over the fate of Arabs and other foreigners fighting alonside the Afghan Taliban Islamic militia, the official QNA news agency reported.
"Qatar has expressed deep concern for the fate of Arabs and other foreigners in Afghanistan, particularly in the town of Kunduz, who risk being massacred for ethnic reasons, in violation of international law and human rights," a foreign ministry spokesman told QNA.
Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani had passed on these fears to US Secretary of State Colin Powell and Arab League Secretary General Amr Mussa in telephone calls, the spokesman added.
Sheikh Hamad had stressed that the Arabs and foreigners must "be treated as prisoners of war in line with international conventions."
Northern Alliance forces and besieged Taliban troops were at an impasse Saturday around the militia's northern bastion of Kunduz.
The alliance, backed by US B-52 bombers, has yet to make any significant inroads towards Kunduz despite the expiration Thursday of a second deadline for the pro-Taliban fighters to give themselves up or die.
Confusion also surrounds negotiations for the surrender of an estimated 3,000 to 9,000 pro-Taliban fighters in Kunduz, including non-Afghans from the al-Qaeda network of suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden – Doha (AFP)
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)