BANGI, Afghanistan -- The northern alliance claimed to have seized the Taliban's last northern stronghold Sunday after a two-week siege, and hundreds of foreign fighters who had been captured in the area died in a chaotic prison uprising put down in part by U.S. airstrikes.
The fall of Kunduz, which came two days before talks are to begin in Germany on forming a broad-based government, leaves the Islamic militia with only a small slice of Afghanistan still under its control, mostly around the southern city of Kandahar.
Thousands of Taliban troops as well as Arab, Chechen, Pakistani and other foreign fighters linked to Osama bin Laden had been holed up in Kunduz, which the alliance said fell almost without a fight.
''All of Kunduz is in our control,'' commander Daoud Khan told The Associated Press after nightfall.
The northern alliance's acting foreign minister, Abdullah, said there were still some pockets of resistance within the city but told CBS' ''Face the Nation'' that ''as a whole ... Kunduz is liberated.''
Pro-Taliban fighters including foreigners fled Sunday toward the town of Chardara, to the west, with alliance troops in pursuit, he said by satellite telephone from the north of Afghanistan.
While some chose to make a run for it, thousands of others surrendered by the thousands as northern alliance troops moved in. Under a pact negotiated earlier between the alliance and the Taliban, Afghan Taliban fighters were guaranteed safe passage out of the city but the foreigners were to be arrested pending investigation into possible ties to bin Laden.
Outside the city of Mazar-e-Sharif, 100 miles to the west, hundreds of foreigners who had been captured earlier in the Kunduz area staged a prison uprising, leading to a daylong battle with northern alliance guards. U.S. aircraft helped quash the insurrection.
Hundreds of foreign Taliban prisoners were killed, U.S. and alliance officials said.
A U.S. special forces soldier inside the Qalai Janghi fortress was taped by a German television crew saying an American may have died.
''I don't know how many Americans there were,'' the U.S. soldier was taped at the scene as saying in English. ''I think one was killed, but I'm not sure. There were two of us at least, me and some other guy.''
The U.S. Central Command, which oversees the war in Afghanistan, declined comment on whether U.S. forces were in the fortress, and spokesperson Lt. Cmdr. Dave Culler said he ''could not give any word at all'' on U.S. casualties.
Culler suggested the uprising was in effect a suicide mission. At least one foreign fighter had killed himself Saturday while surrendering, witnesses said -- giving himself up, then setting off a hand grenade when an alliance officer approached.
The fighters had smuggled weapons under their tunics into the Qalai Janghi fortress and tried to fight their way out, Pentagon spokesperson Lt. Col. Dan Stone-king said.
The Pentagon estimated that fighters numbered 300; the northern alliance had said previously there were 700 prisoners in the facility.
Yahsaw, a spokesperson for northern alliance commander Moham-med Mohaqik, said the prisoners broke down doors, seized weapons and ammunition, and fought a pitched battle with guards that lasted some seven hours.
An Associated Press reporter entering the city Sunday evening heard explosions coming from the direction of the fortress. Stone-king, the Pentagon spokesperson, confirmed that U.S. airstrikes had helped Gen. Rashid Dostum's forces regain control of the prison. Dostum brought in about 500 troops to quash the unrest, he said.
Over the past several days, many surrendering Afghan Taliban fighters were embraced by former foes and allowed to go free. Many of the foreigners were detained at the fortress outside Mazar-e-Sharif.
Throughout the siege, terrified refugees fleeing the city had reported that the foreigners were killing Taliban fighters who wanted to give up.
International organizations had voiced worry over the prospect of atrocities involving captured fighters. Earlier this month, the United Nations reported the apparent reprisal killings of at least 100 captured Taliban fighters in Mazar-e-Sharif.
Pakistan had appealed without success for some guarantee of protection for any of its nationals captured when Kunduz fell.
The United States had strongly opposed any deal that would have allowed the foreigners to leave Afghanistan. As a surrender accord for Kunduz was being brokered last week, Defense Secre-tary Donald H. Rumsfeld said he hoped the foreign fighters would be killed or captured, not allowed to go free.
The head of the northern alliance, former president Burhanuddin Rabbani, said earlier Sunday there would be no slaughter of foreign troops.
''We will discuss their fate as far as international law is concerned ... They should have no concern for their safety,'' he told journalists in Kabul.
The capture of Kunduz was reported hours after alliance troops gained a small foothold inside the besieged city, then overran a town on its eastern flank.
Near the town of Khanabad, about 10 miles east of Kunduz, alliance troops spread across ridgetops held by the Taliban a day earlier and fanned out across fields to check mud buildings for enemy fighters.
Over the past three weeks, the Taliban have lost three-quarters of their territory and the capital, Kabul.
On Kunduz' eastern front, wind whipped up huge billows of dust as a long column of troops and tanks waited to move in -- first allowing a long column of surrendering Taliban to pass by.
''Hurry, let's go!'' their commander yelled. ''Let's go! Let's go!'' soldiers shouted back.
''I feel very happy,'' said a 16-year-old northern alliance fighter, Maraj Adin, who was from Kunduz and hadn't been home in four years.
In other developments:
In Herat, northern alliance commander Mohammed Zaer Azimi said Taliban leaders were discussing the possibility of Kandahar's surrender, but offered no details.
He also said alliance forces were preparing for a major attack on Helmand, another Taliban stronghold in the south. But it is unclear whether the alliance has enough men and heavy weapons to press an offensive in the south.
Anti-Taliban tribal fighters in southern Afghanistan have cut off a key road leading to the Islamic militia's stronghold of Kandahar, tribal leaders said Sunday in Pakistan. The report could not be independently verified but if true would be a significant blow to the Taliban because the route is a major supply line to Pakistan.
Representatives of three key Afghan groups left for Germany on Sunday to attend a U.N.-sponsored meeting aimed at forming a broad-based government in war-torn Afghanistan. One delegate, Syed Hamid Gailani, expressed doubts the conference would succeed because the factions are not sending their top leaders.
An Islamic militant leader from Uzbekistan who was a key ally of Osama bin Laden was killed in northern Afghanistan, an anti-Taliban general said Sunday. Juma Namangani, 32, was fatally injured during fighting for the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif, where the Taliban were routed on Nov. 9, according to Gen. Daoud Khan said.
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