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Afghanistan: Dostum-Taliban Fighting Reported

Salang, Mazar-I-Sharif; Afghanistan, Teheran, 8 October 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Reports citing witnesses and a correspondent in northern Afghanistan say fighting broke out today between Taliban Islamic forces and forces loyal to Afghan faction leader Abdul Rashid Dostum.

The fighting is reported along the strategic Salang highway, which links Kabul to northern Afghanistan, and from there into Central Asia.

The reported fighting follows a claim by the government of deposed President Burhanuddin Rabbani that an agreement of mutual support had been reached with Dostum. The claim has not been confirmed.

But Rabbani and Dostum met for talks in northern Afghanistan today. Dostum told reporters that Rabbani's military advisor Ahmad Shah Masood is also to join the meeting of what he called anti-Taliban forces.