Anti-Taleban fighters 'seize district'
The Northern Alliance says it has captured a district near the key northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif, but there has been no independent verification.
A Northern Alliance commander, Attur Mohammed, said 800 Taleban soldiers had changed sides during a three-hour battle for Aq-Kapruk district, 70 kilometres (45 miles) south of the key. He said another 200 Taleban fighters had been captured.
The Taleban themselves have said only that there was fighting in the region, but they gave no other details.
Over the past few weeks, a series of Northern Alliance offensives and Taleban counter-offensives have been reported near the key northern town of Mazar-e-Sharif.
But the BBC's Mike Wooldridge in Northern Afghanistan says the overall impression is that the Northern Alliance has as yet made little headway towards taking the town.
Its capture would deliver them a city of considerable historic importance at the crossroads of major highways, and a valuable base for operations deeper into Afghanistan.
American warplanes have been stepping up support for the Northern Alliance on this front as elsewhere in recent days. This could lead to the battle lines being redrawn.
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