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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 2 April, 2003, 11:52 GMT 12:52 UK
Fresh fighting in Afghanistan
Afghan forces
Afghan and US troops have joined forces against regrouping Taleban
At least one Afghan government soldier has been killed in renewed fighting with suspected Taleban fighters in the south-west of the country.

Reports from the area, north-east of the frontier town of Spin Boldak, say that Afghan government troops came under fire overnight, and have since sent reinforcements to the area.

The Pakistan-based newsagency, the Afghan Islamic Press, said both sides were using rockets and heavy weapons.

The latest fighting comes as about 1,500 Afghan forces and US special forces have been scouring a rugged mountainous region north of the regional capital of Kandahar.

During the operation, Afghan officials said they had captured 13 Taleban, including the former trade minister, Mullah Abdul Razaq.

Taleban hunt

A large operation began on Saturday in the area to hunt down remnant Taleban fighters.

US soldiers are fighting alongside around 1,000 Afghan soldiers to flush out a group of Taleban fighters, believed to number about 100.

The governor of Uruzgan province said four Taleban suspects have been killed so far and six arrested.

A police spokesman in Kandahar said American bombers have pounded the city.

Taleban members have been reportedly living in the area for some time.

They are accused of shooting a Red Cross worker in Uruzgan last Thursday.

The Red Cross convoy was stopped by a group of armed men who shot the only expatriate among them.

In recent months there have been reports that the Taleban is regrouping, or at least becoming more active.

A senior Taleban commander has told the BBC the Taleban hopes to regain power in Afghanistan.

Coalition troops, meanwhile, continue to patrol and search remote border areas where Taleban and their supporters are thought to be present.

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29 Mar 03  |  Middle East
US steps up Afghan operations
28 Mar 03  |  South Asia
Taleban 'aims to regain power'
28 Mar 03  |  South Asia
Country profile: Afghanistan
28 Feb 03  |  Country profiles


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