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DATE=8/16/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=AFGHAN FIGHTING (L) NUMBER=2-252831 BYLINE=SARAH HORNER DATELINE=ISLAMABAD INTERNET=YES CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Opposition soldiers have reportedly opened new fronts in eastern Afghanistan as the latest upsurge in fighting continues. From Islamabad, Sarah Horner reports a Pakistan-based news agency says Afghan opposition fighters have also taken ground in the west. Text: News agencies say the opposition Northern Alliance has captured several districts in Laghman and Kunar provinces after fierce fighting against Taleban troops. Laghman is about 90-kilometers northeast of Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, and Kunar is about 150- kilometers from the city. Both provinces are close to the Panjshir Valley headquarters of opposition commander Ahmad Shah Massood who is leading the fight against the Taleban. The Pakistan-based "Afghan Islamic Press" (A-I-P) quotes a spokesman who says opposition fighters have also launched attacks in the eastern Nangarhar province, which borders Kunar, Laghman, and neighboring Pakistan. In addition, the spokesman says the opposition has captured the capital of Ghor province, 350-kilometers west of Kabul. According to A-I-P, the Taliban have launched a counter-attack in Nangarhar and fighting is continuing there. Taleban fighters control 90-per cent of Afghanistan and last month launched an offensive against Commander Massood in a bid to bring all the country under Taleban control. Commander Massood is the leader of the opposition Northern Alliance that has fought the Taleban since the Islamic movement captured Kabul three-years ago. Other opposition leaders have lost their territory to the Taleban and have left Afghanistan. The United Nations has called for both parties to stop hostilities. The world body also says it has asked the Taleban to stop the forced relocation of civilians to Kabul from areas north of the capital where fighting is taking place. Taleban officials say the relocation is to protect the civilians. (SIGNED) NEB/SLH/RAE 16-Aug-1999 10:08 AM LOC (16-Aug-1999 1408 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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