Taleban Prepare Themselves For Counter Attack Outside Mazar-e-sharif

The Taleban are urgently lifting reinforcement to Mazar-e-Sharif, in an preparatory move for a counter attack. Taleban information minister Abdul Khan Hamid told as much the Afghan Bahtar news agency Friday. Reinforcement is coming and the Taleban will soon embark on a counter attack against the Northern Alliance, the minister said. He also noted that the US aviation was bombing all the moving targets--buses, cars, tractors--on the road from Kabul to Mazar-e-Sharif, but were hitting mostly civilians. Hamid also pointed out that the Northern Alliance's reports about having seized new areas were an exaggeration. In turn, the leader of the Islamic Jihad movement of Pakistan told the Al-Jazeera TV station of Qatar that on Thursday alone over 4,000 Pakistani volunteers had arrived in Mazar-e-Sharif after having crossed the Afghan border. Al Jazeera added that the US aviation had delivered several air strikes at the northern outskirts of Kandahar on Friday morning. Kandahar is housing a Taleban HQ, which, as the local residents say, has long been abandoned. At about midday, another bomb strike was delivered at targets north of Kabul.

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