Source Pravda.Ru

Militants preferred death

Anti-Taliban forces fighting against Al-Qaeda’s militants in Tora Bora Mountains have presented an ultimatum: today, till 8.00 a.m. the militants must surrender or die. This demand was pronounced at the meeting with the terrorist group’s representatives, after bin Laden’s militants proposed to carry out negotiations about their possible giving up prisoner. One of the commanders, Mohammed Zaman said Al-Qaeda’s soldiers should give themselves up without any conditions and later appear before world community’s trial. Though, after the ultimatum’s time ran out, the militants did not surrender. Afghan commander Khazrat Ali’s representative said the militants had not left their positions in spite of the yesterday’s agreement. Field commander Khaji Zama leading the operation is carrying out negotiations with militants who still remain in Tora Bora, though it is not clear if the negotiations are successful. According to BBC, the militants demand they will be handed over to UN officials in foreign diplomats’ presence. Earlier, US officials expressed scepticism about this ultimatum. Donald Rumsfeld even was afraid Al-Qaeda leaders and the Taliban could escape from Tora Bora to Pakistan. Quatar TV company Al-Jazeera denies information about the supposed capitulation. According to it, the militants just asked about armistice till this morning, but they did not want to surrender. The request was not satisfied. US aircraft was continuing bombardments, while US special force's soldiers were changing their dislocation this night. According to Al-Jazeera, the militants have no choice. Refusal from the capitulation would mean death from them. Though, the militants have preferred death.

Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Vera Solovieva

Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2001/12/12/34774.html

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