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DATE=8/21/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=AFGHAN FIGHTING (S/L) NUMBER=2-252989 BYLINE=SCOTT ANGER DATELINE=ISLAMABAD CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Fighting continues in Afghanistan where opposition fighters say they have gained ground against the dominant Taleban Islamic movement. As V- O-A's Scott Anger reports, fierce fighting has erupted on several battlefronts reportedly causing a number of casualties on both sides. TEXT: Opposition spokesman Dr.. Abdullah says the Taleban used helicopter gunships to attack opposition fighters in Takhar province in northern Afghanistan. He says heavy fighting began Saturday in the province, where Taleban forces continue their offensive aimed at cutting opposition supply lines. Heavy fighting has also been reported about 40 kilometers north of the capital Kabul, near the town of Karabagh on the Shomali Plain. Opposition fighters say they have made gains in the area but the Afghan Islamic Press news service reports the Taleban have repulsed an opposition attack there. Fighters loyal to opposition commander Ahmad Shah Masood say they have seized territory in eastern Kunar province, along Afghanistan's border with Pakistan. The Taleban confirm fighting in the province but have denied losing any ground. ///REST OPTIONAL FOR LONG/// The fighting is the latest after a massive Taleban offensive last month aimed at finally capturing the remaining 10 percent of the country controlled by the opposition. Meanwhile, the Taleban have denied a United Nations allegation that it is using children as fighters against the opposition. Taleban Information Minister Amir Khan Muttaqqi says the United Nations is defaming and pressuring Afghanistan by making these types of comments which are far from reality. On Friday, the U-N Children's Fund representative for Afghanistan called on both warring factions to stop recruiting children under the age of 18 to fight in the bloody civil war. (Signed) NEB/SA/JO 21-Aug-1999 13:25 PM EDT (21-Aug-1999 1725 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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