TITLE=AFGHAN FIGHTING (L-O)
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
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.
22-Aug-1999 12:59 PM EDT (22-Aug-1999 1659 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
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