US troops landed but "ran away", Afghan Taleban commander tells radio

American troops landed in the foothills of Afghanistan on 19 October but fled when Taleban forces attacked them, a Taleban commander based in northern Balkh Province said in an interview on Afghan Taleban Balkh radio on 20 October. Mola Dadollah Akhond said Taleban forces killed 50 enemy troops and captured 88 alive in the battle to retake Marmol gorge in Balkh Province. He said that the "Taleban military might"remained intact despite the US bombing, and morale was undimmed. The following is an excerpt from report by Afghan Taleban radio from Balkh Province on 20 October (only Koranic verses have been omitted):

[Announcer] In the name of God, the Merciful and Compassionate.

Most esteemed and respected listeners of Radio Voice of Shari'ah. Peace and the blessing of God be upon you. Here in this part of our broadcast we present an interview with one of the powerful and well-known commanders of the heroic army of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, esteemed Alhaj Mola Dadollah Akhond, who returned to the town of Mazar-e Sharif just today, after fulfilling his military duties.

[Presenter] Now then, Hajji Sahib, welcome, thank you.

My first question is about the claims made by opponents of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, who allege that they are now located five kilometres from the town of Mazar-e Sharif and that they will capture Mazar-e Sharif in a short time. A second part of this question is about the mopping-up operations which were carried out and led by you in Marmol District [of northern Balkh Province] and the environs recently. What can you tell our dear listeners?

[Dadollah] [Passage omitted: Verses of the Holy Koran] Yes, this report was correct that they [Northern Alliance] had captured the Marmol gorge and Marmol District, they had advanced five or 10 [words indistinct] kilometres into Marmol gorge. Praise be to God, all mojahedin of the Islamic army were well prepared and went there, the Marmol gorge was a very hard place. It was not even captured by the mojahedin in the time of the Russians.

Praise be to God, the heroic mojahedin champions of the Islamic Emirate killed 50 members of the opposition in this gorge and captured 88 men alive, whom the people watched in the town today, and took Marmol District and Dalan District [words indistinct].

[Presenter] Will you be so kind as to brief us on present situation in these areas and about cooperation with the residents of these areas.

[ Dadollah] [Words indistinct] our mojahedin are deployed in Marmol and Dalan Districts. Praise be to God, Muslims are also living there and they have all announced their cooperation with us. Ulema, Muslims and mojahedin are there in Marmol District, some hypocrites might have stood along with them. The opponents might have come at their invitation, [word indistinct ]. Others, praise be to God, are all with the heroic army of the Islamic Emirate. [Words indistinct]

[Presenter] Now a second question. Two weeks have passed since America and its infidel allies started making air attacks on the defenceless and persecuted and war-stricken people of Afghanistan and now they are claiming that they have destroyed Taleban military might. What is your opinion on this point?

[Dadollah] Let those Americans who say that they have destroyed Taleban military might come to see the Taleban military might for themselves. Let them come and see whether this military might exists or whether it has ended?

The Taleban military might remains in place. No danger has been caused to the Taleban, nothing of the Taleban has been destroyed. These airports which they hit or some other places which they hit - let them not rejoice at that, for this will not demoralize anybody. All Taleban mojahedin and all Muslim mojahedin have risen up. Before there was one person was fighting in the way of Islam, whereas today, God willing, men and women are fighting together along the way of Islam. Let them come and see whether the military might of the mojahedin of the heroic army of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan exists or not.

[Presenter] Further, recently reports have been spread to the effect that America has put ground forces into Afghanistan and that they are carrying out some operation. In your opinion, if American ground forces enter Afghanistan, will they achieve anything?

[Dadollah] America going into Afghanistan will be a graveyard for the Americans just as it turned into a graveyard for the Russians.

Last night the Americans landed some people clandestinely in the foothills of the mountains. The Taleban mojahedin got information [words indistinct] and made an attack and the Americans ran away. This was the first time they landed, next time, with God's help they may not come down at all.

[Presenter] Thank you very much, Hajji Mowlawi, for coming to answer some of our questions despite being so busy.

Source: Radio Voice of Shari'ah of Balkh Province, Mazar-e Sharif, in Dari 1345 gmt 20 Oct 01

Source:  BBC