Capitulation of the Taliban began in Kandahar, the main bulwark of the Taliban radical movement in south-western Afghanistan, the Afghan Islamic Press agency based on Pakistan reported on Friday. According to the agency, the Taliban, on the instructions of the their spiritual leader Mulllah Mohammad Omar, are giving up arms to a special commission formed by heads of the Afghan tribes, field commanders and ulemas (religious leaders). Meanwhile, according to another information, the Taliban made a decision to surrender the city but retain armaments. In any case Taliban movement representative Mohammad Haqqani said this to the KUNA news agency of Kuwait over the phone. According to him, this decision was made at a meeting between Mullah Omar with commanders and leaders of the Taliban. He confirmed that Kandahar will be surrendered to the detachments of Mullah Najibullah who is not connected with the Northern Alliance or other Afghan factions, and the districts around the city will be handed over to the local tribes in the course of four days. The Taliban representative also confirmed that chairman of the interim government of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai had given personal guarantees to amnesty all the Taliban, including Mullah Omar. Nevertheless, Karzai himself refuted reports that he promised personal immunity to Mullah Omar and pointed out that this issue had not been discussed at the talks. Speaking about the fate of about 5,000 foreign mercenaries who fought on the side of the Taliban in Kandahar, the head of the interim government declared that they would be tried.
Near the United Nations Glass Palace in New York, there is a metallic sculpture entitled "Evil Defeated by Good", representing Saint George transfixing a dragon with his lance. It was donated by the USSR in 1990 to celebrate the INF Treaty concluded with the USA in 1987