Encountering the Taliban

A TIME correspondent tracks down unrepentant anti-American forces who vow to keep fighting

General Tommy Franks, commander of the U.S. forces in Afghanistan, calls the recent assault on Taliban and al-Qaeda remnants in the Shah-i-Kot Valley an "unqualified and absolute success." But he concedes that pockets of resistance remain and promises to go after them unceasingly. The British last week pledged to help, committing 1,700 troops to the effort. Who are these holdouts, and what are their aims? To find out, TIME embarked on a search for surviving Taliban fighters who refuse to yield. It required weeks of negotiation with Taliban commanders, who finally proffered an invitation to meet with two of them. "They...

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