Shell Game

As the U.S. hunts bin Laden, the Afghans take turns surrendering, switching sides and killing one another

Even though the Northern Alliance commanders in Mazar-i-Sharif knew what was coming, they were taken by surprise. As dawn came Saturday, word spread that the besieged Taliban had broken out of its last northern refuge, Kunduz city to the east, and was advancing on Mazar, attacking security posts as it moved. General Rashid Dostum called his fellow commanders to a hasty meeting as Alliance fighters converged on the dusty square outside, readying their pickups and rocket launchers for battle. A small unit of American special forces arrived, and their commander slipped inside. A few minutes later, the Alliance chiefs jumped into...

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