Afghan authorities looking to query ex-Taliban leader

Monday, February 11, 2002

WASHINGTON -- Afghan authorities want to interrogate the former Taliban foreign minister being held by the U.S. military and ensure he faces trial, an Afghan foreign ministry spokesman said Saturday.

Mullah Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil turned himself in to local officials in the southern city of Kandahar on Friday and was taken to the U.S. military base at the city's airport. U.S. defense officials said Muttawakil was being detained and questioned by U.S. officials at the base.

Bad weather Saturday hampered a U.S. search team trying to reach a remote spot in the eastern Afghanistan's mountains where a CIA spy drone fired at several people last week.

Officials do not know who was killed by the remote-controlled Predator but suspect they could have been top al-Qaida members.

U.S. Lt. Cmdr. Matt Klee said the more than 50 U.S. soldiers dropped off by helicopters a day earlier did not make much progress.

In Washington, Afghan foreign ministry spokesman Omar Samad said his country's interim government wants to talk to Muttawakil to find out what he knows about Taliban atrocities and its links to the al-Qaida terrorist network.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: