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Afghanistan: New Fighting Reported In North

Kabul, 23 September 1997 (RFE/RL) - Afghanistan's northern-based opposition claims that it has advanced toward the port of Hairaton after launching an assault today against the Taliban militia.

An opposition spokesman told Reuters that the opposition is within 10 kilometers of the town, which is on the Uzbek border. There is no independent confirmation of the claim, though other sources confirmed fighting in the area.

The Taliban seized the town last week as part of an offensive which has centered on the last city held by the opposition, Mazar-i-Sharif.

The Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press also reported figthing today closer to Mazar-i-Sharif, which is some 60 kms south of Hairaton.

Meanwhile, the Uzbek Foreign Ministry today complained that shells from the fighting in Afghanistan's north had fallen in Uzbekistan last week, injuring four civilians.