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Afghanistan: Taliban Say They Have Seized Town

Kabul, 8 September 1997 (RFE/RL) -- Taliban forces in an isolated pocket in northern Afghanistan reportedly have seized more territory and edged closer to the stronghold of the opposition alliance.

Taliban spokesman Wakil Ahmad today said militia fighters had captured the town of Tashgurghan, some 50 kilometers east of the northern anti-Taliban alliance base located in the city of Mazar-i-Sharif. The spokesman gave no further details.

But foreign aid workers in Mazar-i-Sharif today also reported the Taliban capture of Tashgurghan. The aid workers said the main highway between Mazar-i-Sharif and areas north of Kabul, the capital, which are controlled by the opposition, had been cut. The aid workers said opposition forces were striving to counter the Taliban thrust.

The Taliban control Kabul and about two-thirds of the country but have suffered some military setbacks recently.