October 7th, 2011
11:43 AM ET

Brothers' tragedy mirrors story of Afghanistan

By Nic Robertson, CNN

Ten years ago, as the first bombs began to fall on Afghanistan, I was almost 500 miles away with our live satellite transmission dish on the roof of the Marriott hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Two weeks earlier the Taliban had forced me out of the country, but before they did I managed to get to their spiritual capital Kandahar, and to our make-shift office in a dusty, drab one-storey villa.

That visit was now proving vital. My cameraman, Alfredo Delara and I set up our staff there - two Afghan brothers - with a camera and satellite phone. Their job was to be CNN's eyes and ears once we were forced out of the country.

At that time, no other TV network had a presence in Kandahar. So as the United States began its response to the 9/11 attacks on October 7, our staff were able to relay details of the bombs falling around the airport.

Later we would learn the target was the al Qaeda training camps where Osama bin Laden's fighters had infamously been recorded swinging on monkey bars and crawling through mock tunnels.

That night it was enough to know the United States had gone to war.

Read the full story from CNN's senior international correspondent Nic Robertson

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