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DATE=8/4/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=AFGHAN FIGHTING (L-O) NUMBER=2-252477 BYLINE=SCOTT ANGER DATELINE=KABUL, AFGHANISTAN INTERNET=YES CONTENT= INTRO: The Taleban movement in Afghanistan says it is helping thousands of people move away from the area where heavy fighting has taken place during the past week. As correspondent Scott Anger reports, those taking the journey toward the capital say the Taleban have forced them to leave their homes. TEXT: Tens of thousands of people in buses, cars and on foot are moving from provinces north of the Afghan capital, under the direction of the Taleban. Many are taking shelter with relatives in Kabul, but others are moving on to the eastern city of Jalalabad. Taleban Information Minister Amir Khan Mutaqqi says about 18-hundred families have been transferred o the Sar Shai refugee camp in Jalalabad. He says the people are being provided food and water and transportation out of the area because, in the past, opposition fighters have used civilians as human shields. On the outskirts of Kabul, 6-year-old Mira Juddin, who has only one leg, hobbles on metal crutches down the middle of the pavement with 11 relatives and a herd of goats. He says he's been walking all day from his village in Parwan province, about 35 kilometers north of the capital. // JUDDIN ACT IN PASTO // He says the Taleban forced his family and others to leave the area because of security reasons. During the last two days, hundreds of people have waited by the roadside to greet relatives passing through the city. Opposition spokesman Dr. Abdullah says the Taleban's relocation of people from the areas of recent fighting is unfairly directed at people of Tajik descent. The Taleban deny the charge and say they are not forcing anyone to leave. Meanwhile, the Taleban say they are close to their objective of spreading a strict form of Islam throughout the country. After a weeklong offensive, the Taleban have captured a number of towns and two provinces in addition to the opposition's key airbase at Baghram. The hard-line Islamic movement has asked opposition fighters to stop fighting, and it has promised to give amnesty to anyone who lays down their weapons. (signed) Neb/sc/rrm-t 04-Aug-1999 11:01 AM EDT (04-Aug-1999 1501 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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