Journalists Told to Leave Taliban-Controlled Afghanistan

Published November 22nd, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

Western journalists remaining in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan were ordered to leave Thursday, a spokesman for the Islamic militia said. 

A group of about 50 journalists had been staying in a Taliban foreign ministry compound in the border town of Spin Boldak in southern Kandahar province. 

Foreign ministry spokesman Najibullah Sherzai said the Islamic militia were no longer able to guarantee journalists' security here. 

The journalists were given two hours to pack up and leave for the Pakistani border crossing at Chaman. 

As journalists left, Taliban militia men, who had agreed to allow journalists into their southern stronghold of Kandahar on Monday, insisted on being photographed with their AK-47 guns.  

Taliban spokesmen here say their militia remains firmly in control of four southern provinces, including Kandahar, the movement's spiritual birthplace. 

But despite claims that most of its forces had been able to withdraw to the south intact, it appeared that the Taliban could not muster enough armed guards to protect the journalists who had been largely confined to the compound. 

Kandahar city has been subject to intensive US bombing since the campaign began nearly seven weeks ago – Afghanistan (AFP)

© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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