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Tuesday, 6 November, 2001, 20:24 GMT
US resumes bombing near key town
Taleban parades remains of US aircraft
What happened to the US helicopter?
American bombers have again pounded Taleban front lines as opposition fighters claimed to have gained ground.

B-52 warplanes bombed Taleban positions near the strategically important city of Mazar-e-Sharif and the border with Tajikistan.

The opposition Northern Alliance said it had captured territory from the Taleban to the south of Mazar-e-Sharif. The Taleban denied the claim.

Bomb explosion on front line
The US says many Taleban have been killed
The opposition Foreign Minister, Dr Abdullah, said more coordination was needed between American air strikes and Northern Alliance forces on the ground before a bigger offensive can be mounted.

But doubts are growing in Washington about the Northern Alliance forces' ability to take advantage of the help they are getting from the Americans.

Helicopter crash denied

Pentagon officials meanwhile denied reports that a US military helicopter crashed in Pakistan after being hit by Taleban fire during a mission inside Afghanistan.

The US officials said bad weather had brought the helicopter down.

A Pakistani Government spokesman also denied that a US helicopter had been hit.

The spokesman, Rashid Qureshi, contradicted remarks by a senior Pakistani police officer.

He had said earlier that the helicopter was crippled by Taleban ground fire and crashed across the border in Pakistan on Sunday.

The Afghan Islamic Press agency said four Americans had died in the crash.

Northern Alliance fighters
Northern Alliance 'not ready' for big offensive
Senior Taleban figures have not commented. But Taleban fighters paraded through the streets with what they said were the remains of a US helicopter, Kabul residents said.

The Pentagon last weekend denied a previous Taleban claim to have shot down a US helicopter, and insisted no US soldiers had been killed.

Launch new window : Detailed map
Click here for a detailed map of the strikes so far

US planes also continued to attack the Taleban front line north of Kabul, near the Bagram air base, witnesses said.

Taleban casualties

The Pentagon has said it believes the air strikes have killed a "substantial" number of Taleban fighters.

Rear Admiral John Stufflebeem, deputy director of operations for the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said it had been days since Taleban positions had returned fire.

But a BBC correspondent with the Northern Alliance, observing Taleban front lines near Kabul, says anti-aircraft fire is visible over the Afghan capital at night.

The BBC's Susannah Price
reports from Islamabad
The BBC's Mike Wooldridge
reports from the front line between the Northern Alliance and the Taleban near the border with Tajikistan
See also:

03 Nov 01 | South Asia
US scorns Taleban helicopter claim
02 Nov 01 | South Asia
Taleban hunt key rebel leader
05 Nov 01 | Media reports
Taleban jails 'full of political prisoners'
05 Nov 01 | Americas
US special forces 'botched mission'
06 Nov 01 | UK Politics
Bin Laden's death 'will not end attacks'
06 Nov 01 | Europe
Germany agrees Afghanistan force
06 Nov 01 | South Asia
Bombs boost town's Taleban support
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