Why are the marines leaving? I know they haven't run out of things to do. We could double our forces in Afghanistan and still not be carrying out our responsibilities there.
(CBS/AP) A powerful Afghan warlord will challenge President Hamid Karzai in the country's historic October elections, his spokesman said Thursday, clouding the U.S.-backed incumbent's chances of a clear victory.
Abdul Rashid Dostum decided to run after securing support across the war-riven country's deep ethnic divides, his spokesman Faizullah Zaki said -- and after thousands of supporters feted him at a rally in a northern city.
"He didn't want to depend on his own movement, he wanted more people to support him, and today the people showed that," Zaki said. "He will run for president."
There was no immediate reaction from Karzai.
Meanwhile, U.S. Marines have pulled out of a Taliban stronghold in southern Afghanistan on their way out of the country, their commander said Thursday. It's reported they killed more than 100 enemy fighters during their deployment.
The 2,000 strong force, which lost just one Marine, has withdrawn to an American air base in the southern city of Kandahar and is preparing to leave the country, Col. Frank McKenzie said. The withdrawal already had been announced.
The Marines were returning to American warships "to await further orders," military spokesman Maj. Rick Peat said. He said there were no indications that the Marines would be redeployed in Iraq but said he didn't know where the ships were.