After years of a futile search for peace in Afghanistan, diplomats
and others who hadn't actually done any fighting or lent any support scrambled to find a way to quickly establish a new government, catch up with the rapid military developments, and protect their own interests. Pakistan
, creators of the Taliban, offered to contribute troops to a United Nations peacekeeping force to be deployed in Kabul, at the same time stressing that Pashtun representation in the post-Taliban setup was important. Pakistani jihadis
of the Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Muhammadi returned home from Cantor and Jalalabad. Sources said this was a strategic withdrawal. Perhaps they're going home to enlist. Hamid Karzai
told Reuters from inside central Afghanistan that while Kandahar was still in Taliban hands, anti-Taliban forces had taken the airport with help from local people and Taliban deserters. Karzai, reported hanged by the Taliban, showed no signs of decomposition. CNN reported street fighting in Kandahar
and said that the Taliban still control some neighborhoods, but that Taliban fighters were fleeing in droves. U.S. warplanes are continuing to bomb caves and tunnels where Taliban and al Queda leaders and soldiers might be seeking refuge, as they retreat from Afghanistan's major northern cities. Late Wednesday, Afghan time, the Northern Alliance ambassador in Tajikistan said Kandahar had fallen
to the opposition and tribal rebels. Gul Agha Sherzai
, a former governor of Kandahar, has led a force of 1,000 men across the border from Quetta in an attempt to force the collapse of the Taleban. He is expected to try and join forces with Hamid Karzai. Eight Western aid workers
detained in Afghanistan and recently taken by the Taliban to Kandahar are on the way back to Kabul. Northern Alliance fighters have killed as many as 600 people since they seized Mazar-e Sharif on Friday. Western officials say that the majority of those killed are Pakistani and Kashmiri
fighters as well as family members of Chechen fighters who have sided with the Taliban forces. Western officials say about 100 men are in custody.
Detectives have arrested a 30-year-old man in London
under the Terrorism Act. The arrest came after a request from the FBI in America was followed up, Scotland Yard said. The man was being questioned in connection with the 11 September attacks in New York and Washington. A Saudi official said that a Palestinian suicide bomber
had carried out an attack last month in a Saudi Arabian shopping area that killed an American. 30-year-old Ayman bin Mohammed Amin Saeed Abu Zanad, a Palestinian carrying an Egyptian travel document, killed himself when he set off the bomb in the city of Khobar. The United States resorted to the "logic of brute force," Iraq's foreign minister Naji Sabri
said, referring to the U.S. attacks on Afghanistan for harboring Osama bin Laden. "The world could be set on fire by a spark coming from the West, and it is in need of saving itself from falling into a bottomless abyss to which it is being pushed by policies that have their roots in conceitedness, arrogance, injustice and aggression." The Lebanese army has warned that it will respond as it sees fit to any aggression from inside Palestinian refugee camps. The warning came just hours after grenades were thrown at an army post outside the Ain el-Hilweh camp in south Lebanon
, in what police said was the third such incident in the past two months. There were no reported injuries. About 3,000 Palestinians have attacked a Palestinian police station
in the West Bank town of Jenin in protest at the arrest of a local militant leader. Police inside the station exchanged gunfire with the demonstrators outside and unarmed protesters pelted the building with stones. The protesters set fire to parts of the building and three grenades are reported to have hit the station. Adm. Dennis Blair, the commander of the US forces in the Pacific, is in the Phillipines to confer on operations against the Abu Sayyaf
group. The Abu Sayyaf has so far this year kidnapped 77 people—three Americans and 74 Filipinos—from Palawan and Basilan provinces. The bandits also beheaded at least 18 hostages, including American Guillermo Sobero. He confirmed local reports that the al-Qaeda has been financing the Abu Sayyaf through Mohammad Jamal Khalifa, the brother-in-law of bin Laden.
Twenty-three Egyptian men accused of being gay
were sentenced to jail terms from one to five years in a trial that human rights groups have denounced as persecution of people's sexual orientation. Egypt's foreign minister said his country is not obliged to follow US directives
to freeze assets of suspected terrorist groups. Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri
has also criticised Washington for drawing up a list of terrorist organisations and said such classification should only be made by the United Nations.
President Bush signed a military order giving him the option of trying non-U.S. citizens suspected of terrorism before a special military commission
as opposed to civilian courts. A man has been arrested for accepting donations from co-workers after falsely telling them he had to raise his sister's 7-year-old daughter because the mother was killed in the World Trade Center
attacks. A man pleaded guilty to threatening to blow up oily preacher Jerry Falwell's church
in response to Falwell's anti-gay remarks after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. After six weeks of controversy, the Red Cross
will donate all $543 million dollars Americans gave it for "The Liberty Fund" to the 9-11 families. Previously, the organization was only going to give approximately 25 percent of the donations to the families, skimming the rest for general Red Cross programs.
Rev. Al Sharpton
said that had he been in Congress, he would have opposed giving Bush what he called "unchecked authority" to launch a military attack. "You don't need more planes and missiles," he told reporters and 50 supporters at Greenville Memorial AME Zion church in north Charlotte. "You need more friends and allies." There was no elaboration on what he would do with them if he had them. -- A federal grand jury charged Clevelander Susan Refai
for making false statements about her marriage to a man from Syria. The charge followed a TV news investigation into the roundup of her ex-husband, Mohammed Refai, after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. She admitted that she never really lived with Mohammed, contradicting what she once told immigration officials.