Afghan rebels advance as U.S. bombing continues

Afghan opposition forces said today they were advancing steadily toward the key northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif with the help of round-the-clock U.S. bombing, the Associated Press reported.

The ruling Taliban, however, said they pushed back several opposition attacks.

Both sides said fighting was intense south of Mazar-e-Sharif, which the Taliban seized from the opposition Northern Alliance in 1998.

U.S. jets also struck targets today along the front lines north of the Afgan capital, Kabul, bombing Taliban positions around Qarabagh and three other Taliban-controlled locations.

The Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press reported that warplanes conducted 27 bombing raids in the western province of Herat and targeted the southern city of Kandahar, the Taliban headquarters.

Pentagon officials reported today that U.S. airstrikes in Afghanistan have killed scores of Taliban and al-Qaida fighters, although precise numbers are impossible to confirm.

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