Newsreel rushes - 1990s - 2 parties clash
Duration: 00:04:03; Aspect Ratio: 1.366:1; Lightness: 0.478; Volume: 0.018; Cuts per Minute: 45.413
Summary: General Taj Mohammed, the Intellegence Director for the Mujahideen Government briefs his men on the strategy to attack the Taliban. Also shots of the first day of this week-long fight as well as shots of Tajbeg Palace.
Footage Source: Afghan Films DVCAM tape transfer
General Taj Mohammed was the Intellegence Director for the Mujahideen Government in Kabul.
He is talking about their plan to attack.
The difference between the films/newsreels that were made in the Communist times and Mujahideen times was that the Communists were intellectuals so they knew how and what to censor. Whereas the Mujahideen were fighters and had no idea and so the crew would just work with the Commanders and be able to do their own thing.
One of the leaders of the Mujahideen, also talking about their plans to attack.
Tapa -e Tajbeg-Qasr
This was probably shot in 1993. That was the peak of internal fighting.
The Tajbeg Palace belonged to the monarchy. It was also the Directorate of the Defence of the Najib government. It was bombed during the internal fighting by the Mujahideen.
After the overthrow of the Communist government and Mujahideen takeover of the city, this castle was looted to the point where they took doors, windows even stones. Later they set it on fire.
It also became a sanctuary to hide, for the Hizb-e-Wahdat (faction of the Shiite Mujahideen group).
This footage, meant for newsreel but never edited, was shot in Kabul sometime around 1995 by Mr. Sarwaruddin for Afghan Films. According to him, its context can be described as follows.
At the time of filming, the mujahidin coalition government had control of Kabul, but the Taliban had control over the area just outside of Kabul, behind Tapa-e-Rishkhor (the Rish Khor Hills) which are called the 'Gateway to Kabul.' The mujahideen were planning an attack on the Taliban to regain control. This is the 7th Corps of the Mujahidin Army. General Taj Mohammed, the Intelligence Director for the mujahidin government in Kabul, was leading them in this attack. There were 500-600 boys serving under him, who had mostly been recruited from Northern Afghanistan and belonged to the Jamiat-al-Islami party. They didn’t have enough vehicles, so a vehicle with room for 20 people had 60 people crammed into it. Most of the fighters had to walk. The attacks usually took place at night.
The Afghan Films crew spent an entire day with the mujahidin but were not allowed to go to the front lines. After a week of fighting, the mujahidin were defeated by the Taliban. A year later, the Taliban walked into Kabul.
The soldiers are going to their posts.
These boys were recruited mostly from Northern Afghanistan and they belonged to Jamiat - Islami party. They were not technical or academic. The overall commander was Ahmed Shah Masood.
It was sometime around 1995 - one year before the Taliban got into Kabul.
This is the 7th Corps of the Mujahideen Army . The hill behind divides the Taliban and Mujahideen
General Taj Mohammed is addressing the soldiers on how, when and where to attack. They were planning to go behind the hills and recapture some areas from the Taliban.
They were eventually defeated (in this attack). The Taliban overpowered them and they had to flee. Most of the operations were done overnight.
Three people had gone to shoot this - the cameraman, sound recordist and another.
General meeting of the Mujahideen
The Mujahideen going to fight. They didn't have many vehicles and a vehicle that had room for 20 had 60 people on it. Most of them would go on foot.
The commander was in the jeep.
Rockets being fired.
The attack lasted a week but the crew was there just for the day. The crew was under the protection of this group so they couldn't go to the frontlines.
On this day, both sides stayed in their own trenches.
General Taj Mohammed planning where to attack from.
Tapa-e-Rishkhour, the hill that we saw earlier behind the General when he was briefing his men. There were a lot of attacks here because this was the gate to Kabul.
There was another Commander here called Mullah Taj Mohammed who didn't allow the film crew to shoot his face.
There were approximately 500-600 people between the two Commanders.
Another TV camera was shooting alongside the film crew.