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Fighting Reported Between Taleban, Northern Alliance - 2001-09-22


Heavy fighting has been reported between Afghanistan's ruling Taleban movement and the opposition Northern Alliance.

The fighting took place Saturday in northern Afghanistan, where the opposition group still controls five to ten percent of Afghan territory. A Northern Alliance commander told Reuters the opposition had made advances, but there was no independent confirmation of the report.

Taleban officials, meanwhile, say their forces have shot down an unmanned spy plane over Tashkurghan in northern Afghanistan, but they added it was not clear what country the aircraft came from.

A U-S military spokesman declined to comment on the report.

Earlier, the United Arab Emirates announced it has cut diplomatic relations with the Taleban. The official Emirates News Agency says the U-A-E took the action after failing to persuade the Taleban to comply with a U-N Security Council resolution to hand over Osama bin Laden. He is considered the prime suspect in the September 11th terrorist attacks in the United States.

Sources in Afghanistan say Osama bin Laden has gone into hiding in the central province of Uruzgan.

People continue to flee the Afghan capital, Kabul. Doctors there warn food and medical supplies are dangerously low, and the situation may turn grave if U-S forces attack Afghanistan.

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