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November 7, 2001
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Northern Alliance within striking distance of Mazar-e-Sharif

K J V Varma in Islamabad

The Northern Alliance in Afghanistan on Wednesday claimed to be close to the strategic northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif after capturing an important district, while heavy US bombing continued.

The Alliance forces entered Sholgera district and some of its units were just 14 km south of Mazar-e-Sharif, amidst reports that Taleban fighters were preparing a counter-attack.

There was no independent confirmation of the claim of the Northern Alliance, which had taken control of three other districts south of Sholgera earlier.

The US, which has stepped up its bombing of Taleban frontlines to encourage Northern Alliance offensive, continued pounding Taleban positions in Kabul and near Afghanistan's northeastern border with Tajikistan.

Taleban claimed that 10 civilians were killed in US bombing raids in eastern Afghanistan overnight.

PTI

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