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Anti-Taliban forces capture 2 districts

November 26, 2001

QUETTA, Nov 25: Anti-Taliban tribal forces have captured at least two districts in Spin Buldak and Kandahar, and have blocked traffic on the main highway linking southern Afghanistan with Pakistan.

The capture follows intense bombing on the Taliban positions by the US warplanes for the third consecutive day on Sunday.

Sources close to Afghan tribesmen confirmed late on Sunday night that 92 people had been killed in fighting and bombing by the US warplanes. Seven of them were children and 18 women.

Forces loyal to former Kandahar Governor Gul Agha, former deputy foreign minister Hameed Karazai and former Asmat militia joined hands in capturing the Pul-i-Thakhta and Arghsan districts of Kandahar after the US warplanes, guided by special United States forces from the ground, bombed the regions for three consecutive days, the opposition sources claimed.

The bombing served as an ultimatum to the Taliban to vacate the Spin Buldak region close to Pakistan border as they planned to launch a major attack on Monday.

The opposition forces have also blocked the main highway connecting Chaman with Kandahar and established checkpoints on the main road, Taliban official Mulla Najeebullah said when reached by telephone from Quetta.

The Taliban began retaliation and assigned the Interior Minister, Mulla Razak, to quell the uprising in the Spin Buldak region.

He said the Taliban forces would launch a counter attack sometime on Monday.