Blair Praises U.S. Military Actions

LONDON?British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Saturday that the U.S.-led military coalition has gained momentum since the Taliban was forced from the Afghan city of Mazar-e-Sharif.

The capture of Mazar-e Sharif was the biggest success since President Bush launched the U.S.-led airstrikes to force the Taliban to hand over Osama bin Laden, chief suspect in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States.

“I think it is clear that the momentum is obviously with the international coalition, the northern alliance having taken Mazar-e-Sharif, and now with the possibility of securing the northern part of Afghanistan,” Blair told a meeting of the Labor Party’s National Policy Forum. “We are getting the northern alliance into the position where they can take territory from the Taliban regime.”

The Taliban acknowledged Saturday that it had lost Mazar-e-Sharif to the northern alliance.