Taliban troops retreated from their last major stronghold in the southern town of Musa Qala in Afghanistan yesterday, ceding control to NATO and Afghan troops, the New York Times reports. After heavy bombardment and a troop attack, the Taliban was overcome by "heavy casualties," said a local police chief. "The Taliban are gone."
News of the victory welcomed Gordon Brown as he arrived in Afghanistan for a surprise visit with President Hamid Karzai and was a relief to British forces who abandoned the town a year ago and were eager to regain it. A Taliban spokesman insisted the retreat was tactical. "It doesn't mean we will stop fighting," he said.