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Afghanistan Closing In On Taliban Figures

(RFE/RL) Kabul, 23 June 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Afghanistan's Interior Ministry says that Afghan and U.S. military units have surrounded an area in southwestern Afghanistan where senior Taliban officers may be in hiding.

Interior Ministry spokesman Lutfullah Mashal said that guerillas captured during a joint U.S.-Afghan offensive disclosed that Mullah Dadullah and Mullah Brother, both members of the Taliban leadership council, had been seen in the area of the fighting earlier this week.

Mashal said earlier today that Afghan and U.S. forces killed more than 100 Taliban fighters this week in the southern part of the country. He said that U.S. helicopter gunships killed most of them. Mashal said that up to 150 guerrillas escaped into Pakistan. U.S. and Afghan authorities have said that the militants are trying to disrupt parliamentary elections scheduled for September.

(RFE/RL's Afghan Service, agencies)

RFE/RL Afghanistan Report

RFE/RL Afghanistan Report

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