Afghan Opposition Shell Northern City with US Air Cover
Afghan opposition forces said Monday they were shelling Taliban positions in the strategic northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif in conjunction with US-led air strikes.
"Military operations, the airport and other Taliban centers of power are being targeted," opposition spokesman Mohammad Ashraf Nadeem told AFP via satellite phone.
"You can hear jets and rockets and they keep getting louder."
The Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press, which has close contacts with the Taliban, later also reported that the ruling Islamic militia was under fire in Mazar-i-Sharif and another northern city, Kunduz.
Elsewhere in the north, opposition foreign affairs spokesman Abdullah Abdullah said anti-Taliban forces had launched attacks in the provinces of Badghis, Ghor, Balkh and Samangan on Monday night.
Abdullah claimed that 1,200 Taliban soldiers changed sides in northeastern Baghlan, along with 40 commanders.
"By joining our forces the Taliban lost a main supply route," he said, adding that the opposition had launched attacks to coincide with the second night of US-led air strikes against the Taliban.
The US and Britain launched air and missile strikes at 30 Taliban military targets on Sunday night, according to British military officials -- ISLAMABAD (AFP)