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Taliban Reportedly Fortifying Disputed Town

(RFE/RL) February 9, 2007 -- Taliban fighters who captured the southern Afghan town of Musa Qala last week are reportedly fortifying their positions after rejecting talks on a withdrawal, RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan reports.

Villagers at Musa Qala, a district center in the southern Helmand Province, said about 300 Taliban fighters remained in the town.

A tribal elder said they were digging trenches and laying mines in anticipation of an attack by NATO-led troops and Afghan security forces.

Earlier, Afghan government and NATO forces said they killed 10 militants in fighting elsewhere in Helmand Province.

Police chief Ghulam Nabi Mulakhel said there were no casualties among Afghan government or NATO troops in the February 8 battle.

(with material from AFP, AP, dpa)