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November 12, 2001
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Northern Alliance captures Herat

Opposition commander Ismail Khan on Monday claimed his forces captured the western Afghan city of Herat, after the people of the city rebelled against the ruling Taleban

An agency report quoted a Northern Alliance spokesman as saying: "People have risen up against the Taleban. They control the city and by now our mujahedeen, who were in the surrounding mountains, have also got to the city."

"After 12 o'clock on Monday the city of Herat was liberated," he added.

Taleban had been ruling the city since Ismail Khan's forces were defeated by it in 1995.

Meanwhile, Iranian state television reported that people in Herat were celebrating from their rooftops as Khan's forces arrived.

"The people are celebrating on the rooftops of their houses, Car drivers are honking their horns," the report said.

Meanwhile, reports said Northern Alliance forces made a major push towards Kabul and captured the entire Bamiyan province in central Afghanistan.

The reports said the ruling Taleban has retreated from all northern provinces except Kunduz.

The Alliance forces broke through a militia frontline north of the capital after capturing the district of Qara Bagh in just an hour-long battle leaving 100 Taleban soldiers dead, the opposition claimed.

Iran's state-run news agency IRNA quoting a leader of Afghan coalition of Shiite groups said that the opposition forces captured the entire Bamiyan province early on Monday morning.

In Kabul, the Taleban fighters were setting up roadblocks in a bid to create hurdles for opposition forces, some reports said.

Separately, Al Jazeera channel said the ruling Taleban militia has denied the fall of Herat and the northeastern town of Kunduz to the opposition Northern Alliance.

"Claims about the fall of Herat province are unfounded; the Taleban are in control there," Al-Jazeera's Kabul correspondent reported, quoting Taleban military sources.

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