The US military commander in Afghanistan has said the killing of Osama Bin Laden may weaken al-Qaeda’s influence on the Taliban. Even so, warned Gen David Petraeus, Afghanistan could still become a potential refuge for international terror groups. Meanwhile, members of Congress have been calling for US troops to hasten their withdrawal. Paul Wood reports from Kabul on the course of the Afghan war now that Osama Bin Laden is dead.
The news conference had been called, said the Afghan official, to show us four children recruited by the Taliban as suicide bombers.
A shocked hush fell over the room when they were actually brought in. They seemed ridiculously young, small figures dwarfed by the soldier leading them onto the stage.
We discovered later that they were aged just eight to 10. In their brightly coloured shalwar kameez – freshly pressed for the occasion – they giggled, not sure what to make of the TV cameras and flashes.
Hopping nervously from foot to foot, Faizil, recited the story of what had happened to them.