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Rare Video Shows Life With Taliban Fighters (Video)

By Joshua Philipp
Epoch Times Staff
Created: August 27, 2010 Last Updated: August 27, 2010
Related articles: United States » National News
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The Taliban grant unprecedented access to journalist Paul Refsdal.
After living among the Taliban in Afghanistan’s Kunar Province earlier this year, Norwegian documentary journalist Paul Refsdal aired a video of his journey on an Australian TV news program.

Refsdal was living with a small Taliban cell operated under a commander by the name of Dawran. He mentions in the video that Dawran has a $400,000 price on his head.

The video, viewable on YouTube, shows the Taliban firing at American convoys from high in the mountains, with what appears to be a stationary Soviet-era anti-air gun that they aim downward at a road.

A camouflage tarp hides the gun from view as they shoot at convoys which appear small in the distance. Refsdal narrates, saying it “turned into something like a daily ritual. American convoys drive past the Taliban area, sometimes they hit a vehicle, sometimes they don’t.”

The video portrays the Taliban laughing as they fire at Americans, chatting, and going about their days. It also shows how they operate, talking over handheld radios and working out attack strategies.

Refsdal noted that “constantly there were U.S. aircraft in the sky.” Among them were jets, bombers, helicopters, and Predator drones.

The Taliban typically didn't seem to budge with the aircraft presence. “But there’s one aircraft that scared them,” Refsdal said.

A plane, which Refsdal identifies as a transport plane converted into a gunship, concerns the Taliban commander, Dawran, who sends his men into the hills.

An interesting point is that when the Taliban take cover from the gunship, they leave their weapons and supplies behind, making them look like ordinary Afghan civilians.

Also of note is that Dawran kept his two children at the Taliban outpost with him, possibly shining light on the controversies of civilian deaths when attacks are made against Taliban fighters.

At the end of the video, Dawran finds that American Special Forces killed his second in command, Asad. Dawran then discovers that his home would be the next target, and he flees with his family.

Refsdal was sent back to Kabul, where he was told he would be contacted a month later. Another Taliban fighter, Omar, gave Refsdal his number and told him to call him and that he could go with him. When Refsdal went to the same area, he was kidnapped by Omar and held hostage for six days and then released.

{etRelate 41673, 39761}The video has a sympathetic air towards the Taliban, both in the way it portrays their attacks on U.S. troops, and in the way it portrays coalition operations against their fighters.

At the end the video notes that Taliban commander Dawran’s home was later bombed, and although he survives, his two children were killed.




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