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DATE=8/22/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=AFGHAN FIGHTING (L-O) NUMBER=2-253006 BYLINE=AYAZ GUL DATELINE=ISLAMABAD INTERNET=YES CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: There are reports of more fighting (Sunday) between Afghanistan's dominant Taleban faction and opposition forces. Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad, the Taleban says it has recaptured most of the territory it lost to opposition forces earlier this week Text: After three-days of fierce fighting, Taleban officials say their forces have driven out the opposition from positions in three provinces, Laghman, Kunar, and Nangarhar in eastern Afghanistan. The Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press quotes a local Taleban leader as saying his forces captured a key district (Daulatshah) from opposition fighters of commander Ahmad Shah Masood during a pre-dawn attack (Sunday) in Laghman province. The report says the Taleban also seized several other areas in the province (Zard Kamar, Murdar Gat and Para Chinar) and has pushed opposition forces back into the mountains of Laghman and Kunar provinces. The news agency says both sides have suffered heavy casualties in the fighting. There is no independent confirmation of the reports. The opposition said Saturday that fighters loyal to Commander Masood made advances in Kunar province, along Afghanistan's border with Pakistan, but the Taleban denied losing ground in the area. The latest fighting in Afghanistan erupted late last month when the Taleban launched a major offensive against opposition forces. It is a bid to capture the remaining 10-percent of the war-ravaged country held by Commander Massood's forces The Taleban controls most of Afghanistan, but several attempts have failed to dislodge the opposition. // REST OPT // A Pakistani delegation held talks Saturday with Taleban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar. Earlier in the week, the Pakistani mission met with representatives of the Afghan opposition in the Tajikistan capital, Dushanbe. Neither the Pakistani authorities nor the Afghan groups have released details of the talks. Pakistan's latest move to hold talks with both the warring Afghan factions is aimed at ending fighting in Afghanistan. The Pakistani delegation is due to leave Monday for Dushanbe to hold a second-round of talks with officials of the anti-Taleban alliance. (SIGNED) NEB/AG/RAE 22-Aug-1999 12:59 PM EDT (22-Aug-1999 1659 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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