Last Friday the Taliban hanged three of the 25 supporters, captured a day before, of Pashtoon leader Hamid Karzai in the presence of hundreds of locals in the town of Dehr-a-Wad, Uruzgan province. This is reported by the influential newspaper Dawn with reference to witnesses. The names of the executed are now published. According to some information, one of them is Haji Abdul Kadyr, a close associate of Karzai. The fact of execution is confirmed by Tayab Aga, an advisor to Pashtoo spiritual leader Mohammad. He said that Karzai and several of his fighters managed to find a hiding after his group was encircled by Taliban and a fight began. Karzai, who in 1992 was deputy foreign minister in the Mujaheddin government before the Taliban came to power in Afghanistan in 1996, was being found in Afghanistan for negotiations with the leaders of Pashtoo tribes in a bid to gain their backing for former King of Afghanistan Zahir Shah.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea