Heavy Fighting Erupts in Northern Afghanistan
Heavy fighting erupted in northern Afghanistan on Saturday as the Taliban militia launched a major offensive against opposition forces in Takhar province, resistance officials said.
The Taliban offensive targeted Tangi Farkhar, 20 kilometers (12 miles) south Taloqan, the provincial capital of Takhar province, said Mohammad Habeel, spokesman for main opposition commander, Ahmad Shah Masood.
"Heavy fighting is going on in the area," Habeel told AFP by satellite telephone.
He said Taliban fighters launched their pre-dawn attacks in Tangi Farkhar amid heavy fighting in nearby Chal district.
He said six Taliban soldiers were killed in a land mine explosion in the Chal district overnight.
The was "no major change" of control in the frontlines so far, he said.
A Taliban spokesman confirmed the attack and claimed the militia re-took all the areas seized by the opposition earlier in the week.
"We have recaptured the entire area captured by the opposition forces two days ago," a Taliban spokesman told the Afghan Islamic Press.
He said Taliban forces were now advancing towards Farkhar district south of Taloqan.
The spokesman put Taliban losses at two dead and several wounded.
The opposition forces had captured nine villages in Eshkamesh district and 13 villages in Chal district of Takhar province late Thursday.
The Taliban Islamic militia drove former defense minister Masood from Kabul in 1996 and control most of the country. The opposition forces hold a small area in the northeast of the war-ravaged country -- KABUL (AFP)