Afghanistan: February 14, 2001


In a major setback for the Taliban, the Northern Alliance captured the central Afghanistan town of Bamiyan. The towns garrison had been reduced recently as the Taliban shifted troops to the northeast to deal with other Northern Alliance attacks. Bamiyan is one of the few areas in Afghanistan with a Shiite majority. Iran has been supplying troops and weapons to the Northern Alliance in order to protect the Afghan Shiias from the fanatical Sunni Taliban. Although the Taliban has controlled some 90 percent of the country for many years, they have been consistently unable to crush the resistance of those non-Sunni and non-Pushtun that resist Taliban domination. The Taliban are largely Pushtun Sunnis. Meanwhile, it has been revealed that India is running a hospital in Tajikistan for the treatment of Northern Alliance wounded (and local civilians.) India is doing this because the Northern Alliance causes Pakistan problems. Pakistan is the Taliban's major ally and as long as the Taliban is having problems with the Northern Alliance, so is Pakistan. 




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