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Taliban Evacuating Kandahar

Aired November 16, 2001 - 12:55   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: We're getting word now to Southern Afghanistan. The Islamic press, a media group out of Pakistan now, the Associated Press is reporting that Taliban leader Mullah Mohamed Omar is now ordering his Taliban militia to leave the town of Kandahar within 24 hours. Here's a picture of Omar, a recluse said to have one eye, seldom seen in any photo. This is a rare photo here.

But in Kandahar, the spiritual stronghold there in Southern Afghanistan, a point of military contention, one of two that we have focused on for the past 24 hours, but the word we are getting is that Mullah Mohamed Omar has agreed to leave that town within 24 hours time. This is critical, because there were tribal leaders in exile in Pakistan who have said that they were en route to Kandahar this weekend to issue an ultimatum to Mullah Omar, to withdraw from there, seek a diplomatic solution.

What impact this move has on that is unclear right now, but the facts as we have it anyway, based on the reports from Afghanistan, is that the Taliban will leave that city, and possibly move into the mountainside over the next 24 hours time.

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