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Taliban Jets Pound Afghan Opposition Forces in Province

April 25, 1999|From Associated Press

KABUL, Afghanistan — Taliban fighter jets repeatedly struck opposition positions in Afghanistan's central Bamian province on Saturday in an effort to recapture the provincial capital, an opposition spokesman said.

"Their fighter planes bombarded us all day long," said Mohammed Jawari, a spokesman for the opposition Shiite Muslim group, Hezb-i-Wahadat. The Taliban army had not sent in ground troops.

In its first significant victory in more than a year, the opposition routed the Taliban army from Bamian on Wednesday. Since then, there have been reports that the Taliban forces are regrouping and will launch an offensive within days to recapture Bamian, northwest of the capital, Kabul.

There was no immediate comment from the Taliban, a radical Islamic movement that ousted the government in 1996.

The Taliban captured Bamian last year, routing the Hezb-i-Wahadat.

The Taliban has imposed a harsh brand of Islamic law since taking over most of Afghanistan. It publicly executes convicted murderers and amputates thieves' limbs. It has also barred women from working.

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