The Pashtun: Deep Loyalties, Ancient Hatreds

When the front line around Mazar-i-Sharif burst under relentless U.S. bombing, the retreating Taliban fighters knew there was only one option: to run fast and far. Retreating into Mazar-i-Sharif's maze of dusty alleys was certain death; the Taliban had made too many enemies. During its three-year rule of Mazar-i-Sharif, the Taliban, who belong to the Pashtun tribes of southern Afghanistan, had mercilessly persecuted the Uzbek and Hazara ethnic minorities. After the city fell, they hauled up guns hidden under the floorboards and took revenge as the Taliban forces fled in disarray. "From the houses, the Uzbeks were picking off the Taliban...

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