Program Note: Tune in tonight for more from Michael Ware in Afghanistan. Anderson Cooper is reporting live from the battle zone and he is joined by CNN Security Analyst Peter Bergen, Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Michael Ware. Tonight 10 p.m. ET.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/09/08/afghanistan.highway/art.taliban.highway.cnn.jpg caption="Trucker Mohammed Qasim takes his fuel tanker down Afghanistan's Highway 1 once a week."]
Paid for with U.S. dollars, Afghanistan's Highway 1 was supposed to symbolize a path toward a bright future when it was repaved five years ago.
The $300 million project smoothed over the highway's rough potholes and cut in half the 12-hour drive time from the capital, Kabul, to the country's political center, Kandahar.
But today, roadside bombs have re-scarred the road, and Taliban militants routinely stage brazen attacks on its travelers.
The journey between the two cities now takes at least nine hours, and people risk their lives when they travel on the road.
"It's been blown up by landmines, and there is no security on it," truck driver Mohammed Qasim said.
People have been pulled off buses along Highway 1 and executed by the Taliban. The militants man at least three checkpoints along the 300-mile road, which runs through Taliban-controlled areas of Afghanistan.
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