Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 173

Taliban authorities announced today that their troops have captured the city of Hairaton on the Amu-Daria river, which separates Afghanistan from Uzbekistan. This would be the first time that Taliban troops have reached the Uzbek border. Also today Taliban forces are said to be attacking the city of Mazar-i-Sharif, the stronghold of ethnic Uzbek forces and of the anti-Taliban "northern alliance" of Uzbeks, Tajiks, and Shias. The fiercely anti-Taliban warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum has returned to Mazar-i-Sharif, his fief of many years, from which he was dislodged in May by his local rival, Gen. Abdul Malik. Dostum spent the intervening time in Turkey. He has long been a protege of Uzbekistan, but that country’s president, Islam Karimov, denied yesterday having any connection to Dostum’s return. (International agencies, September 18)

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