On Saturday fierce fights were resumed to capture Kunduz, one of the Taliban major strongholds in the north of Afghanistan. According to RIA Novosti information received from the Afghanistan embassy in Tajikistan, on Friday troops of the united anti-Taliban front waged an offensive against the city and came close to Kunduz. The Northern Alliance ascertains that about 300 local Taliban fighters surrendered. Foreign mercenaries numbering approximately 10,000 in the city put up the most fierce resistance to Alliance forces. A representative of the Afghanistan embassy in Dushanbe categorically renounced reports of Western media about the split among Northern Alliance generals. The Afghan diplomat stated that all generals under the command of General Mohammad Fahim were storming Kunduz and capture of the city was a matter of time.
The remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.