World

Cheering Kabul residents welcomed Northern Alliance troops into the capital as their take-over of Afghanistan advanced with unexpected speed. The Taliban militia was pulling back to its base, Kandahar, but reports said that city's airport was the scene of fierce fighting, perhaps because of a mutiny in the ranks. Taliban leader Muhamad Omar ordered his remaining forces to "put up resistance," and analysts said they expected an attempt at a protracted guerrilla-style war. (Story, page 1.)

In related developments:

• Fleeing Taliban troops were accused of stealing millions of dollars from the nation's main money market in Kabul and of looting Pakistan's embassy.

• Eight Christian aid workers on trial for proselytizing were rushed from prison in Kabul, apparently to be taken to Kandahar, where the father of one said he expected they'd be used as "pawns for some leverage in political negotiations."

• Gleeful Kabul residents celebrated the Taliban's departure with such long-forbidden means as music, donning blue jeans, and shaving off their beards.

• As word of the Northern Alliance gains spread, inhabitants of at least one Afghan refugee camp packed their belongings for the return trip to their deserted homes.

• The Northern Alliance was accused by an adviser to Afghan-istan's exiled king of breaking a deal not to take Kabul until the capital could "come under a political process." But an alliance spokesman denied his forces intended to rule the country. Meanwhile, the UN Security Council was to briefed on efforts to arrange for a multi-ethnic transitional government. (Editorial, page 8.)

• German Chancelor Gerhard Schröder called on parliament for a vote of confidence in his government Friday over sending troops to help in the US-led counterterrorism campaign. Schröder's Green Party coalition partner opposes Schröder's planned mobilization of up to 3,900 German troops. (Story, page 7.)

Less than a day after being ordered to stop working their land, some white farmers in Zimbabwe were dismantling machinery and irrigation systems and preparing to leave. Late Monday, President Robert Mugabe's government "fast-tracked" its land-redistribution plan, giving 1,000 white farm families three months to vacate so their properties can be given to poor blacks.

A new code that will allow residents of Ukraine to buy land from the state for personal use was signed into law by President Leonid Kuchma. But the measure does not take effect until 2005, limits purchases to 247 acres, and forbids foreign nationals or their business interests from participating. Most Ukrainian land has remained in state hands despite the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

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