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Northern Alliance Claims Capture of Key Province - 2001-10-11


Afghanistan's opposition Northern Alliance says its forces have captured the key central province of Ghowr, after heavy overnight fighting.

Alliance spokesmen announced the victory today (Thursday) in telephone calls to western news agencies in Islamabad, Pakistan.

There has been no independent confirmation of the claim.

Meanwhile, a senior Northern Alliance official has met with U-S lawmakers in Washington. Daoud Mir said the anti-Taleban alliance has shared with the international community its intelligence about Osama bin Laden and Taleban positions.

Mr. Mir said his group has ruled out trying to capture the Afghan capital, Kabul, because he says it had bad experiences when it ruled Afghanistan in the early 1990's. He said the opposition wants to see the Taleban replaced by a broad-based government that includes all of Afghanistan's factions and ethnic groups.

The Northern Alliance controls between five and 10 percent of Afghanistan, mostly in the northeast. The group is a loose coalition of ethnic factions with a total of about 15-thousand fighters.

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