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Rabbani, Hekmatyar Forces Fight Side-By-Side In Kabul

Kabul, May 29 (RFE/RL) - Negotiations are reported continuing in Kabul between the government of President Burhanuddin Rabbani and representatives of a faction that had previously opposed the government, led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. An agreement signed by Rabbani and Hekmatyar last week calls for the formation of a joint security force and an interim government. Government forces and Hekmatyar's forces are reported now fighting side-by-side in Kabul. Hekmatyar was quoted yesterday as saying he plans to send 30,000 of his forces to Kabul.

Rabbani has called for other faction leaders to take part in the joint government, but the Islamist Taleban militia refuses to negotiate with Rabbani. Taleban forces control about half of Afghanistan's territory.

Negotiations in Kabul reportedly focus on cabinet positions in the joint government, with Hekmatyar expected to be named prime minister.