Afghanistan's ruling Taleban is reported to have begun fortifying its lines around Kabul in preparation for a possible U-S attack against the country.
Citing defectors and opposition spies, the Washington Post newspaper says Taleban troops in recent days have built two lines of defense north of Kabul, digging trenches and bomb shelters.
The news report says the Taleban have been replenishing their forces by apprehending young men and sending them to the front lines. As many as 66-hundred armed fighters are said to have already gathered to defend the capital.
An officer with the anti-Taleban Northern Alliance is quoted as saying the Taleban have gotten themselves better organized in their defenses after a period of disarray in the days following the September 11th terrorist attacks.
Meanwhile, heavy fighting was reported Wednesday between the Taleban and the Northern Alliance in central Afghanistan. The opposition says it has advanced about 15 kilometers in the mountainous central province of Ghor.
There was no independent confirmation of the claim.
The Northern Alliance controls between five and 10 percent of Afghan territory. The group -- which numbers about 15-thousand fighters -- has gone on the offensive against the Taleban since last month's murder of their former military leader Ahmed Shah Masood.