Afghan opposition claims gains in new fighting against Taliban
KABUL, June 25 (AFP) - Opposition forces captured several villages from the ruling Taliban militia on Monday as fighting erupted in northern Afghanistan after a lull of several days, resistance officials said.
Forces loyal to opposition commander Ahmad Shah Masood launched a pre-dawn offensive against Taliban positions in Chal district, 30 kilometers south of Takhar province's capital Taloqan, Mohammad Habeel, spokesman for Masood said.
"Early this morning our mujahideen (holy warriors) launchd attacks from the northeast of Chal, and captured 27 Taliban strongholds, including villages of Sang-i-Lashm, Jaloos, and Kabood-Naw," Habeel told AFP by satellite telephone from the embattled region.
He said the Taliban left four bodies in the battlefield. Taliban troops launched a counter-attack but the opposition foiled their attempts to regain the lost territory, he said adding that heavy fighting was raging in the area.
"They were mobilizing reinforcements from the centre of Chal to retake their lost ground, but came under our artillery shelling," he said adding that "many Taliban were killed."
Independent confirmation of the opposition claim was not immediately available.
The Taliban who seized Kabul in 1996 control most of the country.
The opposition forces led by Masood are resisting the Islamic militia's ambition to establish control over the whole of the war-torn country .
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