Taliban Militia fires on Russian post

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Militia fires on Russian post

KUPLETIN, Tajikistan:

Taliban militias yesterday fired automatic weapons at a Russian border post on the Afghan-Tajik frontier, hitting the building in which border guards and Western reporters were standing but causing no casualties.

Two bursts were fired at the border post at Kupletin, 260km southwest of the Tajik capital Dushanbe, from a range of about 600 metres.

News agency reporters were in the building along with two television cameramen.

The border guards opted not to respond to what they described as an "armed provocation."

A Taliban border post is located 400m away on the other side of the river Pyandzh, which forms the common border between the two countries.

Taliban forces were also engaged in fierce fighting with their northern-based opposition Northern Alliance amid mounting expectations of major offensive by anti-Taliban forces.

Exchanges of artillery fire continued on both sides of the river Kokcha, a tributary of the Amu Darya river between Ai Khanoum and Khwaja Ghar in the northeast along the border with Tajikistan.

No ground troops took part in the fighting, opposition military sources confirmed from the frontline, which stretches southwards from the Amu Darya, which effectively marks the border between Tajikistan and Afghanistan.


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), October 02, 2001

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