Four ex-ministers of the Taliban government have given themselves up in Afghanistan. Khalid Pashtun, spokesman for the governor of the province of Kandahar, has announced that, as a result of negotiations involving local elders, three former ministers, for defence Ubaidullah, justice Turabi and mountain affairs and industry Sadruddin, as well as ex-information minister Abdulhai Motmain, have surrendered to the Americans. Former spiritual leader of the Taliban movement mullah Omar is, most likely, not far from the town of Baghran in the south-western province of Helmand and he will have to be apprehended. The spokesman said that thousands of Americans and locals were involved in the search for him. According to the Qatar-based television channel Al-Jazeera, American special forces and local pro-government bodies will soon start a large-scale operation against al-Qaeda and Talib fighters in Jalalabad, the administrative centre of the eastern province of Nangarhar on the border of Pakistan, as well as in Helmand.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced the termination of diplomatic relations with NATO at a time when US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ended a meeting in Georgia with his counterpart