By: David Rice Re: Praise God! (Again) KADAI HAIDAR KHAN, Afghanistan (ITN) The president'
By: David Rice
Re: Praise God! (Again)
KADAI HAIDAR KHAN, Afghanistan (ITN) * The president's
soldiers blasted the mountains southwest of Kabul with heavy
artillery Sunday as they launched a ground assault on a rival
Behind the front lines, near the village of Kadai Haidar
Khan, about 10 miles southwest of Kabul, President
Burhanuddin Rabbani's men prepared for battle.
With rocket launchers slung over their shoulders and
automatic rifles at their feet, the soldiers recited a verse
from the Muslim holy book, the Koran, and prayed they would
return safely. Then they piled aboard tanks and headed toward
the front line about six miles away.
Government soldiers are fighting the Taliban, a group made up
mostly of former Islamic theology students.
"We want to break their front line and push them out," said
Abdullah, a Defense Ministry spokesman who uses only one name.
The government claimed to have captured several Taliban
positions in the mountains, but it could not be independently
Incoming rockets from Taliban positions several miles away
occasionally blasted holes in the road outside Kadai Haidar
The Taliban in recent months captured 10 provinces in the
south and east of Afghanistan. However, they encountered
little resistance until they faced the president's troops
outside Kabul earlier this month.
Last week, Rabbani's troops drove the Taliban out of their
stronghold at Charasyab, south of the city, and out of rocket
range of Kabul.
Soldiers from Rabbani's Jamiat-e-Islami control all of Kabul
and its suburbs for the first time since warring Islamic
factions ousted a communist government in April 1992 and
began battling among themselves for the capital.
As a result, the city has been quiet. The relentless
rocketing of the past year has stopped, though many people
fear peace will be brief.
"It always begins again. I don't think the fighting is over,"
said Parlwashah Alim, a teacher at one of the schools that
opened Saturday for the first time in three years.
... Bigot? Racist? Fundamentalist? The Republicans want YOU!
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